Naveen Kannan

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dereje Agonafer


Conventional data centers are extremely large buildings that have complex power distribution and cooling systems. These traditional brick and mortar data centers employ relatively expensive cooling systems and are inefficient. It has in turn led to an increase in construction and operational costs. These inefficiencies of traditional data centers can be overcome by partitioning the server load into modular sections which can be deployed, powered and cooled depending on availability and requirement. Furthermore, improvements in efficiency and operational costs can be achieved by employing "free cooling" to cool the IT equipment. Free cooling involves the introduction of outside air through a series of filters to directly remove the heat from the server racks and cool the IT equipment, thus foregoing expensive computer air conditioning units (CRACs). The first part of the thesis will discuss the design and thermal analysis of IT telecommunication switches using commercially available CFD software. Network switches are the central core of the network infrastructure. The CFD modeling and analysis will include the study of side breathing network switches which are classified based on their air flow pattern. The issues addressed are cooling performance differential between 6 and 12 inch wide vertical cable managers located between two alternating side breathing switches; even and odd number of side breathing switches; and even and odd number of side breathing switches with and without top blanking panels. These network switches draw cold air in through one side of the chassis and release hot air out of the opposite side. The second part will discuss the CFD modeling and analysis of a modular data center. Free cooling is adopted for cooling the data center. Several free cooling approaches are available for introducing outside air into the data center. One such approach will be discussed and the resulting thermal performance of the system will be analyzed. The study was done in collaboration with an industrial partner and as such most of the results of this study have been adopted in actual telecommunication systems.


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington