Sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)


DOE data center


Led by Dr. Zuo, this is a joint research project with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Schneider Electric. We have developed an open-source, free software package (see the following links) which provides practical, end-to-end (from the IT equipment to heat rejection to the ambient) modeling and optimization for data center cooling. It can be used as a stand-alone tool by data center designers, service consultants and facility managers, or be integrated into existing data center management software for autonomous optimal operation. It is the first practical tool that couples the modeling of airflow-management and cooling systems to enable a global data center cooling optimization. Its self-learning regression model enabled by an in situ adaptive tabulation algorithm and a fast fluid dynamics model can predict the critical airflow information under various operational conditions within a few milliseconds. The equation-based modeling language allows a fast and flexible modeling of various cooling system configurations. We have demonstrated the usage of our tool and identified 53% energy saving potentials in a Florida data center and 74% in the Massachusetts data center.

Open Source Models for Data Center Cooling

This project has resulted in open source Modelica models for the data center cooling system. The models haven been released as a part of the DOE's open source Modelica Buildings library: http://simulationresearch.lbl.gov/modelica/releases/latest/help/Buildings_Applications.html#Buildings.Applications.

The model development branch is at https://github.com/lbl-srg/modelica-buildings/tree/master/Buildings/Applications.

This project has also developed a reduced order model “ISAT-FFD” trained by simulations in Fast Fluid Dynamics to predict airflow in data centers: https://github.com/doetools/isat_ffd.

See this page for more information on FFD.

The development site of the ISAT module in Modelica Buildings library is at: https://bitbucket.org/sbslab-zuo/datacenter-mblisat.

The ISAT data center case can be found at: https://bitbucket.org/sbslab-zuo/datacenter-isat-examples/src/master/.

Please see this page for more information on tools related to this project.

Commerical Tool 

Based on our open source FFD models, Schneider Electric developed a commerial software "EcoStruxure IT Advisor CFD", which is a cloud-based data center CFD design software.  

Technical Advisory Group

Name Institution
Amistadi, Henry R. MITRE Corporation
Cleaver, Donald Keystone Critical Systems & Advisors
Doppelhammer, F. James University of Miami
Geraghty, Edward P. CEC Group, LLC
Groenewold, John JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Herrlin, Magnus Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Kaiser, Raymond Amzur Technologies
Meneghan, Brian W. Carrier Corporation
Plamondon, David University of Massachusetts Medical School
Sartor, Dale Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Sorell, Vali Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.


Press Release


Project Report

Recorded Presentations

Ph.D. Theses

Journal Articles

Conference Proceedings