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Thermal management of electronics cabinet and effects of different front cover patterns

Çobanoğlu, Yankı
An electronics cabinet populated with different components such as workstations, uninterrupted power supply, etc. is experimentally and numerically investigated. Experimental temperature measurements were taken on different locations surrounding the components using type-K thermocouples and a data logger over a period of 8 hours in which the cabinet was in steady-state. These measurements were then used to validate the numerical model created in commercially available computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS Icepak. First, the model for the Workstation – 1, one of the components inside the cabinet, is presented, since most of the information on its thermal behavior is available. Mesh independence analysis were done, and conservation of mass and energy were checked. Next, whole cabinet was modeled which consists of other components and rack frame within a domain of the size of a room. Steady-state Navier-Stokes equations were solved along with k-ε turbulence equations with variable material properties to account for natural convection effects. A grid-independent solution is obtained and validated using experimental measurements. The validated model used for investigating different front cover patterns with different openness ratios and solutions to prevent limit excess. Results show that blanking panels are viable solutions to prevent leakages, 85% open front cover can be used whereas 25% cannot be, and variable free-area ratio cover can be used only together with a blanking panel that prevents leakage from PDU outlet.