Maximizing Use of Efficient Air-Side Economization in Modular, Large Data Centers and Datacom Housing Units

Many data centers use CRACs or AHUs to condition outside and re-circulate air streams entering the cold aisles. This method of cooling is expensive, however air-side economization is an attractive alternative in many parts of the world including the U.S. Variations in outside air temperature, humidity and gaseous and particulate contamination levels pose challenges in determining when to use or not to use this method for cooling electronics.

Sample Project:

Air Side Economizers with Evaporative Cooling


Agonafer, University of Texas, Arlington


  • Maximize use of efficient air side economization for cooling datacom housing units
  • Improve efficiency of air side economizers with or without evaporative cooling technology
    • Direct and indirect evaporative cooling technologies
    • Mixing outside air with data center exhaust air
  • Provide best practices for using these methods of cooling


  • Identified different parameters that affect performance of evaporative cooling systems by CFD Modeling
  • Evaporative Cooling and Spray Cooling were modeled using various levels of approximation

Modular Data Center for Case Study
Modular Data Center for Case Study
Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems

Villanova ES2 Team Areas of Expertise
Thermal management
Electronics cooling
Fluid mechanics
Convective heat transfer
Sustainable energy technology
Multiscale systems
Computational fluid dynamics


Director: Dr. Aaron Wemhoff, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Phone: (610) 519-8045