Liquid immersion cooling is delivering results for data centres

The verdict is out - liquid immersion cooling is delivering results for data centres

For those who may have been in doubt about the ability of liquid cooling technology to deliver efficient heat dissipation, the verdict is out. A Copenhagen Center on Energy Efficiency Data Center Brief which was focusing on the innovative data centre cooling technologies in China reveals a liquid cooling success story. The Copenhagen Centre is part of the UNEP DTU Partnership, a collaboration supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

The brief points out that liquid cooling is becoming the preferred heat dissipation solution with more and more businesses embracing it. Two success stories are showcased in the brief, the Alibaba and Tencent data centres, establishments that are Chinese leading internet companies. Within a short time, they have achieved large-scale adoption of the liquid cooling technology and the results are out for every environmentally conscious data storage business to see.

 The brief acknowledges the rapid growth of the data centre market in China where it has had an annual growth rate of 30 per cent since 2010.

This growth has been fuelled by emerging technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data. With this growth, there has been a steady rise in the heat load in the data centres.

The brief notes that air cooling abilities to meet the rising demand for heat dissipation are approaching the limit. There have been success stories from the leading data centres in this country. The Alibaba Winter Olympics Cloud Data Centers had energy savings of 35 per cent when compared to conventional cooling solutions.

The brief observes that from this example it can be deduced that adoption of the liquid cooling technologies can reduce power use by 235 million kW hours each year.

This power reduction would not only be good for data centres’ profitability but would also go a long way in reducing 200,000 tons of carbon in the atmosphere.

Elevated Reliability

The brief notes that immersion liquid cooling is a new heat dissipation technology that has the potential to deliver great results, more so for its efficiency, green, and energy-saving capabilities.

Its reliability as pointed out in the brief emanates from the distinctive advantages which include direct and full contact with the heat-generating parts leading to low heat resistance and high heat transfer coefficient.

The coolant‘s relatively high thermal conductivity and elimination of the need to install fans as well as the coolant’s excellent insulation properties are the other advantages that have been pointed out in the brief.

Conclusion 

The brief predicts that liquid cooling technology will revolutionise data centre cooling. This revolution will be beneficial to the business as well as to the environment, however, data centre transformations will be required where substantial investments are initially needed and accumulation of new experience in running and maintenance of data centre.

The brief concludes that cooperation both nationally and globally will be required to enhance the development of the value chain for liquid cooling and market growth.

 

The brief is available at https://www.itu.int/en/action/environment-and-climate-change/Documents/publications/2021/Innovative_Data-Centre_Cooling_Technologies_in_China_Liquid_Cooling_Solution.pdf

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