iMasons at OCP 2019: Immersion Cooling
Liquid cooling was a hot topic at the 2019 OCP Global Summit, and one of the busiest booths at the show was that of Barcelona-based Submer who were showing off their new OCP-compliant immersion cooling system. Jeff Omelchuck, iMasons Executive Director, caught up with the guys from Submer to learn more about immersion cooling. They made a compelling case that the time has come for immersion cooling. Benefits include:
- Use of off-the-shelf servers, OCP or OEM, with minimal modifications. Just remove or disconnect the fans, don’t use spinning HDs, and don’t use heat sink paste. You can immerse all the connections, copper and fiber.
- 10x increase in the power density compared to air-cooled kit, which could translate into a dramatically smaller footprint per megawatt, substantially reducing CapEx, especially in expensive urban markets;
- Extremely high energy efficiency. With all the electronics immersed, there’s no need for traditional CRAC units in the DC, and no fans on the servers, racks or facility, enabling a design PUE of 1.03, reducing both CapEx and OpEx.
- Efficient beneficial use of waste heat. In an air-cooled data center it is very difficult to use the waste heat for any beneficial purpose because the outlet air isn’t warm enough. However, with liquid cooling the fluid is warmer, enabling efficient use of the heat in many industrial applications. If this is netted against the power draw of the DC, it would be like having a PUE much less than 1, dramatically reducing OpEx.
- Extended server refresh cycle. Even though the coolant is warmer than ambient air, the heat transfer in liquid is so high that the hot spots on the chips are much cooler than they would be in air, extending their life. This, coupled with the fact that the coolant actually protects the electronics from dust, corrosion and contamination, means that the electronics, which are often the biggest investment in the DC, operate in a much friendlier environment and last much longer, reducing the cost of refresh.
- Submer’s proprietary cooling fluid is nonflammable, nontoxic, biodegradable, non-volatile and has a use life of 10-15 years.
With increasing focus on reducing the carbon footprint of data centers, immersion cooling could be the next big thing. Watch this video to see how it may be about to disrupt the market!