At my workplace I have been assigned to create an accurate 3D model of our Dell PowerEdge R820 servers so we can insert our custom cards and run a CFD and thermal analysis on them. The end goal is to have an exact understanding off all the airflow and heat transfer within the servers and server racks to help in designing future systems and fix overheating issues we are having with some of our current ones.
My problem is that the insides of these servers are quite complex and it is going to take an era for me to reverse engineer all the parts with a pair of verniers and find out how much heat is produced and where.So I am wondering if anyone else has come across something like this before and how they created an accurate CFD of their system.
Would 3D scanning be an option? I am concerned that 3D scanning will be too accurate, in the sense that what should be a straight edge might be turned into 200 different vertices etc. And I am not sure of how much cleanup it would require. I plan to do the CFD in Solidworks which requires solid modelling - it may have issues with the surfacing of the scans. Would like to hear from anyone with experience regarding this.
On the other hand, does anyone have experience with getting 3D CAD models from companies like Dell? I work at a large company and we buy a lot of their products for our projects but I wouldn't have a clue what department to call to see what needs to be organised to get CAD files. Would welcome any input here.
Lastly, for the thermal modelling, my plan of attack is to use some IR cameras to see where the heat is being produced. But I don't know how to work out HOW much heat is being produced at these spots so I can model the heat production from these processors in the CFD. What do people normally do for this?