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Data Center Alternative Cooling Analysis Tool

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Sample Output
Sample Output

Sample Output
Sample Output

Zone Distribution
Zone Distribution

Technology Marketing Summary

Data centers use large amounts of energy. Consistent large loads of energy are required for data center efficiency and reliability. Four different cooling technologies, including direct expansion (DX), the air-side economizer, the direct evaporative cooler, and the multistage indirect evaporative cooler, are examined for climate appropriateness and cooling energy reduction in data centers.

These technologies are examined individually and in combination with others to categorize seven distinct alternative cooling strategies. These alternative cooling strategies are characterized by bins or zones on a psychometric chart. These bin/zones are bound by the capability of each technology's thermodynamic processes to achieve supply air in the ASHRAE recommended or allowable environmental envelopes for IT equipment.

Description

This software analyzes hourly climate data and categorizes conditions into psychometric bins created by the thermodynamic processes of four different cooling technologies and the recommended data center operating conditions. Psychometric calculations are performed on TMY3 weather data and hourly data is plotted on a psychometric chart. Energy savings are estimated from high-level assumptions and compared to standard direct-expansion computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units. Percent energy reduction is calculated based on the reduced energy consumption of each alternative cooling strategy compared to a standard direct expansion mechanical cooling system with a coefficient of performance.

Typical meteorological year (TMY3) data is analyzed and processed to perform a summation of how many hours of the year fall into each bin category. Percent energy reduction is calculated based on the reduced energy consumption of each alternative cooling strategy compared to a standard direct expansion mechanical cooling system.

This tool is built specifically to compare different low-energy cooling technologies for data centers, based on the hours of operation in different climates.

Benefits
  • Multiple cooling method comparisons
Applications and Industries
  • Data Centers
  • Commercial Buildings
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
NREL SWR 11-10PrototypeAvailable01/10/201401/10/2014

Contact NREL About This Technology

To: Doreen Molk<doreen.molk@nrel.gov>