Leeds Universtiy submerges a server in liquid cuts cooling costs 97 percent

first_imgDatacenters use a lot of energy to power the thousands of servers they each contain. But a significant proportion of that cost comes from actually keeping those servers cool. To minimize the costs of cooling, novel approaches have been taken such as reusing the waste heat, running entire datacenters very hot, or even building a datacenter 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.Leeds University has figured out how to bypass such extreme measures, however, by coming up with a new way of cooling servers in a liquid. So efficient is this so-called wet server, it can cut the cost of energy consumption related to cooling by up to 97 percent.Typical air cooling systems require a lot of energy because the air has to be cooled first, then pumped into each server using fans. You also need to keep the environment the servers are placed in cool, too. The research team at the university replaced air cooling by submerging all the components inside a server module in liquid. This is no ordinary liquid, though. It’s a coolant called 3M Novec that doesn’t conduct electricity.The new system is called the Iceotope Platform and actually relies on three different liquid coolants to function. A typical Iceotope rack can hold up to 48 hot-swappable server modules. Each module is a self contained unit holding the server components submerged in the 3M Novec liquid. The rack then has water pumped up and cascaded down over the modules to draw the heat away from them. That water doesn’t need to be cooled first. A third coolant is then used external to the rack, which dissipates the heat away through a heat exchanger system. In the case of the university Iceotope platform, they use this coolant to heat the room through radiators.The only power required in this liquid cooling system is for the pumps that move the second and third coolants around, which are both low power units drawing a maximum of 80 watts. And as these are completely self-contained units it doesn’t matter what environment you put them in. It could be a very hot location and it wouldn’t negatively impact the system. One final benefit is a huge reduction in noise as there’s no fans used in the systemThe liquid-cooled servers are being offered through the company Iceotope in a range of configurations. Due to the power savings and removal of the need for specialized facilities for handling cooling, Iceotope is sure to prove very popular and allow datacenters to start popping up in many more locations around the world.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *