Development and validation of an open-source CFD model for the efficiency assessment of data centers

Dogan A., Yilmaz S., Kuzay M., Demirel E.

ORIENS ANTIQUUS : SERIES NOVA, vol.2, no.41, pp.1-25, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 41
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.12688/openreseurope.14579.1
  • Journal Indexes: Periodicals Index Online, L'Année philologique
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-25
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, an open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed based on OpenFOAM libraries for the accurate and robust simulation of thermal distribution in a data center. Two boundary conditions were developed for the temperature field in the black-box modeling of server components. The numerical model was first validated by comparing numerical results with the experimental measurements for three benchmark problems in the field of thermal engineering. Then, thermal distribution in an open-aisle data center was simulated using the proposed numerical model and results were compared with the experimental measurements. The consistency between numerical results and previous experimental measurements indicates that the present numerical model can be reliably used for the efficiency assessment of air-cooled data centers. Efficiency of the data center can be evaluated with respect to four metrics in the proposed numerical model. In addition to the determination of the overall efficiency, distribution of the efficiency can be monitored over the racks to capture thermal zones where the efficiency decreases due to the recirculation effects and cold air by-pass.