6 Reasons Why Your Data Center May Need a CFD Model

Swanson Rink uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to simulate how air behaves in the built environment. With a particular focus on data centers, and how air behaves both inside the data center and around the exterior of the building. CFD modeling is utilized to simulate airflow conditions that otherwise could not be accurately predicted with conventional engineering means.

Not all data centers will require CFD analysis. In this post we will look at 6 reasons why a CFD model may be valuable for your data center:

  1. Data Center Hot Spots
  2. Failure Scenarios
  3. Air Static Pressure Calculations
  4. Building Effects on Natural Wind Patterns
  5. Tracking the Dispersion of Heat and Humidity
  6. Tracking the Dispersion of Exhaust Fumes

Read more about how CFD modeling can help identify potential problem areas before design. 

Thought Leadership Series: Passenger Journey

Improving the Passenger Journey: A Systems Approach

In 2019, Swanson Rink analyzed the Passenger Security Screening Checkpoint at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) to determine the right number of checkpoint lanes for passenger load. The study revealed interesting possibilities, but then the pandemic hit.

With the onset of the Covid pandemic, touchless processes and social distancing became pressing concerns, so we returned to the original study and expanded our analysis to encompass the entire passenger journey from curbside to boarding. We investigated new technologies and protocols to identify the most effective means of establishing a safe, secure, journey that is not only touchless and seamless but also cost effective for stakeholders and passengers.

The expanded study focused on reducing queues and time-in-system throughout the passenger journey. We captured metrics that included the percent of passengers processed in less than ten minutes, number of passengers in queue, number of passengers that missed their flights, and the number of lanes or pieces of equipment required to process passengers at each stage in the travel journey.

Thought Leadership Series: Deicing

Struggle with Deicing and Anti-Acing Waste Fluids?


While deicing and anti-icing glycol-based products are biodegradable, spent fluid that reaches habitable streams can adversely affect fish and other aquatic life. Disposal processes require large quantities of dissolved oxygen (DO) for microbial decomposition and additives that enhance deicing performance are non-biodegradable and toxic. As a result, airport operators are constantly on the hunt for cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions to dispose of waste deicing and anti-icing products.

Currently, many airports process deicing and anti-icing waste via managed drainage to underground storage and then transfer to local landfills, which still has environmental impacts. Others have successfully dealt with disposing of waste deicing fluid without harmful effects to the local ecosystem, but few have found a financially successful solution.

Our team recently worked with Jviation on a ramp improvement project for the Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) that serves Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. Our task was to identify viable waste disposal alternatives and evaluate cost-of-ownership, considering first costs, operating costs, and major repair/replacement cost for a life expectancy of 20 years.

Aviation White Paper: Optimizing the Passenger Journey (in the era of Coronavirus) by Stephen Bennett

Any frequent traveler will tell you that air travel has always had its challenges, and now the risks associated from outdated technologies are intensified by COVID-19. From the airport’s perspective, implementing efficiency upgrades to improve the passenger journey will prove even more challenging because the pressure to make fundamental changes in how an airport operates is real and has the potential of imposing an extreme financial burden. There is a pressing need for better. And we can do better. This paper will explain how.

Article located here: The Passenger JourneySRI.pdf

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Aviation White Paper: Systems Planning for Passenger Experience

With the drastically different world we are living in right now, we have to wonder what airport travel will look like in the future.  The high and necessary degrees of effort that have been taken to avoid large crowds in today’s current atmosphere will most definitely carry forward and affect future airport design.  Swanson Rink has long provided passenger flow simulations to eliminate congestion in one area of the airport (such as security checkpoint), but we believe the focus will now be on Airports as a whole, with a smooth, congestion-free passage from curbside to boarding bridge.  Steve Bennett’s article, In Defense of a Systems Planning Approach to Improve the Passenger Experience further details this point.

Article located here: Systems Planning for Passenger Experience.pdf

The Way Forward?

Swanson Rink’s Steve Bennett, Vice President of Aviation and Bill Gibbs, Vice President of Baggage Handling Systems wrote a white paper on Individual Carrier Systems for baggage handling at US airports, and it was recently published in Airport World magazine.

You can read the full article here: The way forward.pdf

Swanson Rink White Paper: Individual Carrier Systems

There are a number of advanced baggage handling system technologies that have been implemented in Europe and other parts of the world, but are yet to be embraced in the United States. One of the more intriguing technologies is the Individual Carrier System or ICS. European airports that have successfully used ICS include Munich, Heathrow, Barcelona, Oslo and Helsinki. We have heard arguments that ICS is too expensive and the benefits don’t justify the added cost; we decided to find out for ourselves.

Read the White Paper Here!