Upsite: The 4 R’s of airflow management optimize energy use and increase equipment reliability

June 7, 2016
Upsite Technologies used computational fluid dynamics modeling to demonstrate the effectiveness of its 4 R’s approach: row, raised-floor, rack and room cooling.

Upsite Technologies Inc. recently announced that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling has demonstrated the energy savings outlined in Upsite’s 4 R’s of Airflow Management methodology. The company called on Future Facilities North America—a provider of engineering simulation software for data center design and operation planning—to demonstrate the findings through the use of the 6SigmaDCX CFD simulation tool.

“The 4 R’s methodology details the improvements and best practices made to a data center’s racks, raised floor, rows and room that will provide these benefits and optimize the cooling infrastructure,” Upsite explained. It added that the 4 R’s “provides a guide for implementing changes to optimize cooling and achieve the greatest benefits of airflow management, including a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) score, reduced energy costs, and increased IT equipment reliability.” For the demonstration, “6SigmaDCX was used to model a 4000-square-foot data center and provide engineering simulation to assess the impact of the changes made to these four areas: rack, raised floor, row, and room,” Upsite continued. “The simulation provided valuable information about how problem areas, e.g. hot spots, could be rectified and how capacity and operating cost benefits could be realized after making airflow management improvements to each of the 4 R’s.”

The company further explained that the execution of the steps resulted in the following.

  • Reduction in the maximum IT inlet temperature of 8.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cooling supply temperature increase of 10 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cooling unit fan speeds reduced by 35 percent and one cooling unit turned off
  • Partial PUE (pPUE) reduced from 1.54 to 1.34
  • More than $60,000 in annual savings for a 4000-square-foot data center
  • 15-month return on investment

Lars Strong, senior engineer and company science officer with Upsite Technologies, stated, “Given the many solutions available to improve data center airflow, the process of creating an effective airflow management plan can seem overwhelming. Our 4 R’s of Airflow Management approach provides a clear strategy to optimize cooling and lower PUE. With the impressive results now demonstrated by CFD modeling, I anticipate that more owners and operators will be utilizing our 4 R’s methodology to accomplish this quickly, efficiently, and with a faster ROI.”

Upsite Technologies produced the video embedded below to visually demonstrate the CFD modeling of its 4 R’s of Airflow Management methodology.

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