Open YPEC 2021

ON03-Application of the Concept of Digital Twin in Enhanced Design of Thermal Management in Existing Data Centres

Data centres annually consumed over 4,000 TJ in Hong Kong, in which over 35% attributed to air-conditioning systems. Computer Room Air-conditioning (CRAC) Unit is normally adopted for data centres. This conventional passive air conditioning design tends to be segregated from external environment, such that indoor air environment could be controlled rigorously with a view to achieving required resiliency and reliability. Hence, hot air from server racks would require to be treated instead of extracted directly outdoor, and utilization of free cooling is often not considered. This inefficient thermal management is usually overlooked because it is always a challenge when analyzing the complexity of air diffusion and temperature profile of data hall with the stringent uptime requirements. Concept of digital twin is introduced to overcome the problems, which is an innovative approach to precisely and effectively modelling data centres’ operation behaviour integrated with real-time data collected by IoT sensors and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to enable detailed thermal analysis in “what if” scenarios with zero risk to data centre’s operation to accomplish an optimal energy saving and carbon reduction solution with 30% anticipated electricity saving, and this approach can be applied to all existing and new data centres.