thermal analysis

Making the invisible visible, detecting hidden problems that can cause critical failure

This picture depicts an improperly cooled data rack

Problems Encountered

This high profile data center, suffered from improper cooling of the racks leading to potential critical failures occurring. Thanks to CST this was identified and fixed and not only did it lead to better efficiency but prolonged the life of the equipment.

Developing the Strategy

Performing a thermal analysis of a data center data floor includes collecting multiple data conditions within the floor area. There are many variables at play, such as supply air temperature, velocity, cfm, direction of flow, containment, etc. Often, without cold / hot isle containment, cross contamination of hot air is found re-entrained in the cold air supply.

A typical thermal analysis will include

We will examine the installed perforated floor tiles (if applicable) and compare the face velocity at the operational pressure to determine cfm flow rates. We look for areas of low pressure induced by the velocity of the surface air (vernouli effect) typically found at the bottom of the racks. We look for low or no airflow at the top of the racks, or often, hot isle air migrating over the top of the racks only to be used as cooling air.

If further analysis is required we can investigate the control system and review the trend logs to see if variable load profiles are affecting cooling. We look for critical failure points and recommend mitigation stratagies. Hot / cold isle containment stratagies are often recommended.

We use the most cutting-edge techniques, technologies and test equipment that allow us to put together the clearest picture and understanding of what is happening. Then it is up to us to put together a mitigation plan that is both the most cost effective and reliable.