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NDC-GARBE Proved The Resilience of Their Data Center Cooling Technology With SimScale

NDC-GARBE integrates decades of experience in the European and German real estate markets with a profound knowledge of the data center industry to sustainably increase the level of digitization in Europe. The joint venture draws on many years of expertise across the entire value chain of data center development, from site acquisition, through design, planning, awarding, preparation, development, construction, operation, to financing ultra-energy-efficient and resource-conserving data centers. NDC-GARBE uses an award-winning patented technology concept to significantly reduce construction time, energy, and resource consumption. Independent studies confirm that the technological approach halves the greenhouse potential of conventional data centers.

The Challenge

Making Digitization Sustainable

As digitization is growing at an exponential rate so, too, is the energy demand on data centers. NDC-GARBE is committed to finding solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of the IT industry to net-zero, or below. Their patented cooling technology enables highly efficient use of energy in otherwise “power-hungry” data centers. 

Traditional data center cooling solutions run on an air-based model in which hot air from the servers is pushed to the back row of the racks and contained in a “hot aisle”. This air is moved to an air handling unit where fans remove the heat, recuperate the air and push the fresh, cold air back into the room. 

The NDC-GARBE cooling solution works to cool the hot air from the servers, directly at the rack exit. This is done by assembling heat exchangers at the back row of the racks which are supplied with cold water. The heat generated by the servers is immediately transmitted to the cold water, the air is recuperated and the fresh air is instantly supplied back to the server.

rear door heat exchanger cooling NDC GARBE
Diagram showing rear door heat exchanger cooling.

How They Solved It With SimScale

Water Cooling Transient Study

The objective of their simulation was to estimate the amount of time given to intervene before a critical temperature in the data room is reached in the event that a server-mounted heat exchanger has failed.

We use CFD simulation to prove to our clients how resilient our cooling systems are. We were looking for a solution that is easy to deploy and that does not require expertise or recurring consulting services. These were some of the main drivers in our selection of SimScale as a solution.

Herbert Radlinger

Herbert Radlinger


Simulation Set Up on SimScale

NDC-GARBE ran a transient convective heat transfer analysis to define the increasing temperature on the outlets of racks in the event that the water supply is disrupted and the rack row heat exchanger has failed. Their simulation tracked how temperature developed over a 16 minute period. To apply the increasing temperature to the row of racks experiencing failures they had to consider additional parameters and characteristics of the materials, for example, the thermal mass and water capacity which were accounted for in an excel file imported directly into the SimScale platform.

SimScale dashboard showing excel file import
View of SimScale platform showing import of increasing temperature excel file.

The Results

The first 60 seconds of the simulation show the same fixed temperature which was applied to functional racks within the simulation. This was the time considered for heat to be absorbed by the racks and water in the pipes. 

The simulation determined 16 minutes as the time frame within which action must be taken to prevent the temperature of the intake air on a failed cooling supply from reaching a critical level. 

The post-processing supplied by the SimScale platform also helped visualize the spread of heat throughout the data center room, using the particle trace feature.

NDC GARBE thermal simulation for data center cooling
Particle trace illustrating the flow of heat from the malfunctioning rack row.

For a detailed overview of NDC-GARBE’s simulation setup and results, sign up to download our on-demand webinar on cloud-based simulation for data center thermal management.

If you would also like to virtually test your design with CFD or FEA in your web browser, discover SimScale’s pricing plans and learn more about the platform’s features.

Learn how simulation can help engineers design and optimize thermal management for data centers!