CoolSim History and Vision
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling is a well accepted technology in the fields of automotive and aerospace design. It uses the computer to build a geometric model and solve the equations of fluid flow, thereby allowing practitioners to perform comparative studies of different designs. While virtual prototyping in this manner greatly reduces the cost and time associated with the traditional build and test cycle, the cost and complexity of CFD software has constrained its widespread use in other industries. CoolSim was designed with the goal of overcoming these barriers, making CFD accessible and affordable for people working in the data center industry.
CoolSim’s graphical user interface (GUI) uses familiar terminology for setting up a model. Raised and non-raised floor data centers, with or without a ceiling plenum, form the basis of a model. Libraries of common cooling and IT equipment are available. Irregular room shapes or objects are easily made and the body-fitted meshing algorithm ensures that angled boundaries are properly captured using non-rectangular elements. Several modeling choices are available for computer room air conditioners (CRACs), including flow direction, thermal cooling method, turning vanes, and failure scenarios. Equipment racks allow for server-level detail, including blanks and gaps.
CoolSim was developed as a client-server system. The desktop computer is used for model creation, and a remote simulation facility (RSF) is used for model processing. Once built, the model is automatically uploaded to a shared server where tools are used to build a computational mesh, solve for the fluid flow and temperature distribution, and generate a comprehensive report. The report is then returned to the user for viewing on the local PC where it can be embedded in a PowerPoint presentation. It includes a numerical summary of the temperatures and flow rates through all equipment in the room. Energy calculations provide a benchmark for comparing one design against another. Graphics are in a format that allows mouse manipulation of the view. A freely available viewer can be downloaded to any PC for viewing the graphics and viewing does not require an active CoolSim session. High resolution hardcopy files can be created from the graphics for use in reports or presentations.
Often, data center design is an occasional activity based around a project timeline. By contrast, full-time CFD analysts
use the tools daily. For full-time analysts, annual licenses for unlimited use are common, but this approach is too costly for occasional users. For this reason, CoolSim
uses a subscription model based on the anticipated use of the tool over a period of time. Based on the actual usage, the subscription price can scale up or down when the license is renewed.
The unique way in which CoolSim is delivered - familiar terminology, client-server system, and subscription-based pricing - makes it easier to use and more affordable than any other tool of its kind.
The ANSYS Relationship
CoolSim was originally developed in 2005 by engineers at Fluent Inc, now ANSYS, Inc., to perform thermal audits of data centers. In 2008, key personnel associated with the CoolSim effort left ANSYS to form Applied Math Modeling Inc. The mission of Applied Math Modeling is to pursue application-specific tools using the SaaS (Software as a Service) delivery model. Through a subsequent licensing arrangement, ANSYS agreed to license CoolSim as well as specific technologies used in the CoolSim application including the ANSYS/FLUENT meshing, solving, and postprocessing tools. Today’s CoolSim users can count on the fact that the core processing for their data center model is performed using the same software used by nearly all of the Fortune 100 companies in the world, with over 20 years of industrial test validation. As a Value Added Software Partner, Applied Math Modeling will continue to bring key ANSYS technology to the data center modeling market in the years to come.