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Using a CFD analysis to resolve hot spots in a data center

When Commerzbank approached us about their ongoing problem of “hot spots,” we knew right away that preparing a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis would help us solve the problem. The hot spots were regularly causing equipment failures, certainly a big problem in a data center.

Based on mathematical calculations, CFD simulates the behavior of fluids (i.e. air, water) in a space and lets us test various options to see what design solution works best before implementing it in the field. CFD is especially useful in data centers because there is high density equipment and often tricky geometry which can affect cooling in unusual ways.

Based on our CFD analysis, we confirmed that the amount of cooling needed for the space was available, and that the cause of the hot spots was poor airflow.

Our 3D models of the data center showed the exact locations of the most severe cooling problems. We developed a couple of design options, and then created model which proved that our proposed solutions, including the reconfiguration of the return air ductwork and relocation of some supply grilles, would be effective.

The CFD model enabled us to show Commerzbank before and after simulations, which helped them understand how our proposed design would resolve the problems. Our solution was successful in eliminating the hot spots.

Project Type
Mission Critical
New York, NY

Project Services

Due Diligence Study

Surveyed buildings and spaces to understand existing MEP/FP/IT systems.

Electrical (Interiors)

Prepared electrical lighting drawings for fixture circuiting, specification and switching. Prepared power drawings with circuiting, panels, transformers, exit signs and emergency lighting.

Fire Alarm (Interiors)

Prepared drawings showing selections and locations for ADA compliant audible and visual fire alarm devices.

Fire Protection (Interiors)

Prepared drawings showing distribution piping and locations of sprinkler heads, preaction and/or FM 200 systems.

Mechanical (Interiors)

Designed HVAC systems including transfer fans, environmental requirements, controls and management systems.

Plumbing (Interiors)

Designed plumbing fixture locations and rough-in requirements.