ANCIS Incorporated, a San Francisco based consultancy, recently
helped a major telecom firm develop a greatly improved heating,
ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) design standard for
its central offices (COs), using Flomerics' Flovent computational
fluid dynamics (CFD) software to predict air intake temperatures
for sensitive electronic equipment.
Based on these intake temperatures, the Rack Cooling Index
(RCI) algorithm, developed by ANCIS, was used to calculate
the compliance of alternative designs with industry temperature
||"Flovent's robust and predictable performance
helped us to optimise equipment reliability in our client's
COs" - said Dr. Magnus K. Herrlin, Founder and President
of ANCIS. "Thermal challenges in central offices and data
centers are one of the most serious threats to equipment
ANCIS has addressed this challenge by using Flovent and the
RCI sequentially to provide a quick - but comprehensive -
way to compare cooling performance for alternative HVAC designs.
An RCI of 100% means ideal conditions with the air intake
temperatures to all equipment racks within the temperature
specifications. Since it is not possible to achieve ideal
conditions in most real world situations, it's important to
have a metric that can quickly compare the relative performance
of different designs.
The telecom firm approached ANCIS to help develop a new HVAC
standard for their central offices - which, not only have
a high average heat density, but also large variations in
densities. ANCIS engineers developed several designs - utilising
various air distribution concepts, such as a raised floor
and overhead cooling. They modeled each design in Flovent
by duplicating the geometry of each proposed CO design and
defining the amount of heat generated by each piece of equipment.
They modeled the supply air velocity and temperature, as well
as the physical locations of the supplies and returns.
ANCIS engineers used monitoring points at each air inlet
to track rack intake temperatures for each piece of equipment.
These numbers were used as input to the RCIHI and RCILO algorithms,
which determine - respectively - whether equipment experiences
temperatures above the maximum and below the minimum recommended
temperatures. These indices provide measures of how effectively
racks are cooled and maintained within industry temperature
guidelines or standards.
The data was used by the management of the telecom company
to evaluate the alternative designs provided by ANCIS. They
selected a design that provided an excellent RCI of close
"I have been using Flovent for 10 years, starting when I
was working at Bell Communications Research" - Herrlin said.
"Flovent's consistent performance has made it possible to
automate the process of evaluating the thermal performance
of telecom and data centers using the RCI. The RCI provides
a standardised way of communicating the thermal performance
of various cooling designs in a two-part index that is easily
understood. Thanks to Flovent, we can produce this information
in a very short time."
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