A Comprehensive Mechanical Engineering Perspective on the Implementation of an Organic Rankine Cycle for Data Center Waste Heat Recovery Public
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Modern digitalization has led to massive growth in data center (DC) electricity consumption—half of which is dedicated to IT equipment cooling. This project investigated the viability of an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) for DC waste heat recovery in terms of mechanical practicality, sustainability, and economic feasibility. A liquid cooling system for capturing CPU waste heat with microchannel heat sinks was designed with COMSOL simulation software. An integrated thermodynamic, fluid, and heat exchanger analysis was developed in MATLAB to fully characterize the ORC heat recovery system. The payback period of the optimized design was under 5 years, thereby enabling the DC to reduce energy demands, as well as generate revenue from its cooling.
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