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Research Papers

Solar Thermal Driven Cooling System for a Data Center in Albuquerque New Mexico

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Fumo

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762-5925fumo@me.msstate.edu

V. Bortone

 Johnson Controls, Inc., 9850 Legler Road, Lenexa, KS 66219-1263Vicente.Bortone@jci.com

J. C. Zambrano

Departamento de Matemática y Física,  Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira, Av. Universidad, Táchira 5001, Venezuelajzambra@unet.edu.ve

J. Sol. Energy Eng 133(4), 041008 (Oct 13, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004473 History: Received November 11, 2010; Revised June 13, 2011; Published October 13, 2011; Online October 13, 2011

Data centers are facilities that primarily contain electronic equipment used for data processing, data storage, and communications networking. Regardless of their use and configuration, most data centers are more energy intensive than other buildings. The continuous operation of information technology equipment and power delivery systems generates a significant amount of heat that must be removed from the data center for the electronic equipment to operate properly. Since data centers spend up to half their energy on cooling, cooling systems becomes a key factor for energy consumption reduction strategies and alternatives in the data centers. This paper presents a theoretical analysis of an absorption chiller driven by solar thermal energy as cooling plant alternative for data centers. Source primary energy consumption is used to compare the performance of different solar cooling plants with a standard cooling plant. The solar cooling plants correspond to different combinations of solar collector arrays and thermal storage tank, with a boiler as source of energy to ensure continuous operation of the absorption chiller. The standard cooling plant uses an electric chiller. Results suggest that the solar cooling plant with flat-plate solar collectors is a better option over the solar cooling plant with evacuated-tube solar collectors. However, although solar cooling plants can decrease the primary energy consumption when compared with the standard cooling plant, the net present value of the cost to install and operate the solar cooling plants are higher than the one for the standard cooling plant.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the solar cooling plant

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Figure 2

Annual average daily solar radiation map for flat plate tilted south at latitude

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Figure 3

Cooling load for the hypothetical data center

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Figure 4

PEC for the solar cooling plant with flat-plate solar collectors compared with the standard cooling plant

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Figure 5

PEC for the solar cooling plant with evacuated-tube solar collectors compared with the standard cooling plant

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Figure 6

NPV for the solar cooling plant with flat-plate solar collectors compared with the cooling plant having an electric chiller

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Figure 7

NPV for the solar cooling plant with evacuated-tubes solar collectors compared with the cooling plant having an electric chiller

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