External Modeling with Agile CFD Software

Enhanced view external

We all know data centers are power hungry. Reducing the power usage required to keep IT cool by investing in advanced cooling technology, such as indirect or direct adiabatic cooling, can save teams money and improve sustainability efforts. So, why aren’t more teams doing this?

Because it’s hard. Effective cooling is difficult to get just right. Between increasing power densities, new equipment requirements, and evolving applications, data center designers and operators have a lot to manage when developing their cooling strategy. Incorporating newer cooling technologies adds another level of complexity that some teams don’t see the need for yet.

At the same time, many forward-thinking data center teams are finding ways to make implementing advanced cooling technologies easier and reaping major energy savings in the process. For example, Kao Data used our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of both the internal and external data center operating environments to consider, and ultimately deploy, a system with 100% free-cooling.

We wanted to continue to build on the tools our software provides to make external modeling easier, especially when it comes to advanced cooling technologies. In the latest release of our simulation software, 6SigmaDCX Release 16, we’ve added important improvements that will make implementing such technology more straightforward and significantly less risky.

External Modeling Improvements

Isosurfaces: The new Isosurface object provides another way to visualize results by displaying a surface across which a value is constant, and this surface can be further colored by variables. This provides another option for users to produce intuitive result visualizations for the outputs: humidity, pollutant levels, moisture content, temperature, and airflow velocity.

Isosurface Blog External

Simplified Modeling Level Option for Chillers: We've added a Simplified modeling level to the Chiller object. This option allows you to define the chiller's performance from readily available input data, such as heat emitted and relative humidity at the intake and exhaust.

This feature allows the user to provide minimal information for chiller intake and exhaust properties, perfect for the conceptual stage of design before detailed information is acquired.


Air-to-Air Cooling: The Heat Exchanger object can now be configured to use air-to-air cooling. In this new cooling configuration, air is used as the coolant. Indirect cooling using outside air can be accomplished using this new air-to-air selection on heat exchangers. 

A secondary option allows users to sequentially combine air-to-air cooling utilized at lower cooling requirements with adiabatic and mechanical cooling (chilled water or DX cooling) implemented at higher cooling requirements.

Heat exchangerSeparate flow paths can be added to simulate the airstreams of both the data center flow and the external flow. Air-to-air heat exchanger adiabatic cooling failure can be simulated for failure analysis and risk management. Information on pump restart and ramp up can be used to predict recovery time.

Face Velocity vs Pressure Drop Curve for Heat Exchangers: You can now create a flow resistance curve for heat exchangers using face velocity (the fluid velocity at the heat exchanger's inlet or outlet) and pressure drop data. 

Our software provides many options for our customers to input their manufacturer data, to comply with most standard data sheet information.

View Generated Resistance Curve for Heat Exchangers: We've added the option to view the air flow resistance versus pressure drop curve that is generated from the user-specified flow resistance data for heat exchangers.

This added option provides transparency on the data that is being collected and the results being processed in your thermal simulation. 

Adapt Faster with Agile CFD Software 

New technologies and challenges—internal and external—are always emerging. Our aim is to create and continually update our CFD modeling software to help data center teams stay agile and adapt when it comes to evolving challenges. Find out how we deliver on this promise in Release 16 of 6SigmaDCX.


 Blog written by: Danielle Gibson, Product Marketing Manager

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21 February, 2022

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