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The Chilling Facts

Nazita Saye

Nazita Saye

Posted May 25, 2010

I just about fell out of my chair when I heard about a new trend in using alternative or green sources of energy for data center cooling. Apparently, the good folks at HP recently released a research paper on the use of cattle waste as a source of power for cooling data centers.  No, seriously. The NY Times ran a story about the research paper and said that  “according to HP’s calculations, 10,000 cows could fuel a one-megawatt data center which would be the equivalent of a small computing center used by a bank.”

Moo! A bit of fun with CFD and FloEFD. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

Moo! A bit of CFD fun with FloEFD. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics.

Now I don’t know if anyone is seriously thinking about using biogas at this stage but I do know that data center cooling is a hot (pardon the pun) topic. Up until a few years ago, data center cooling costs were not something organizations worried about. The cost was rolled up under facilities and as long as the data center got enough power and cooling no one really fussed about the cost. But then the cost of buying electricity shot up drastically and the rules of the game changed. As a result, IT managers realized that they needed to do something a bit more sophisticated than “shirt-sleeve” management.

There are a lot of resources out there about why simulation can help IT managers rein in the challenge of data center cooling – for example, we’ve got a couple of on-demand presentations titled: CFD in the Data Center: It’s Not About the Hall and Learn How to Reduce your Data Center Running Costs. But if you’re interested in learning about how an organization has successfully leveraged simulation (and all the gory details) please join us for an upcoming presentation titled: The Chilling Facts in Data Center Design. The presentation will take place on June 16 and you can sign-up for it here. Now I know most of you are mechanical design engineers who don’t deal with data centers so I’d appreciate it if you were to spread the word about the presentation to your IT departments. Anyway, our guest presenter for this session is Stuart Walker who is the Worldwide Facilities Critical Infrastructure Manager at Mentor Graphics. Stuart (who is an IT guy as opposed to a CFD specialist), will give us all a behind-the-scenes look at how Mentor Graphics manages our data centers around the world. Having met Stuart in person recently, I have a new appreciation for what IT managers in a similar role do across the world. Besides, this is a great chance to meet with someone who not only understands the pains associated with managing data centers but can also share firsthand knowledge of how simulation has made his life a bit easier. I really hope you can join us — it’s going to be a good session.

Until next time,

Data Center, data center cooling, CFD

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About Nazita Saye

Nazita SayeI have been involved with the CFD user community in one shape or another since 1999 -- when the NIKA team first introduced FloWorks to the engineering community. Over the years I've seen the market evolve and I still marvel at the wide range of products that are being designed with our tools. As the Manager of External Communications for the Mechanical Analysis Division at Mentor, it is my privilege to bring some of our customer stories to you. Visit CFD doesn’t mean Color For Directors

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