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John O | January 2018

Immersion cooling at chassis level proves effective in NREL tests


bloomington, minn.-based liquidcool solutions has developed an immersion cooling system that can be deployed at the chassis level, is safe, cost-effective, and the company claims can capture 95 percent of the heat energy from high-density server components, as much as 50 kw per rack or 500-600 watts for a server.

 


eight-server rack from back and front. (dennis schroeder/nrel)

 

a recent article from datacenterfrontier.com explained, “in liquidcool’s solution, off-the shelf server components are sealed inside an aluminum leak-proof case. the case is filled with dielectric fluid that is safe to use with electronics, completely submerging the server components inside. the fluid is pumped in from an external coolant distribution unit (cdu), entering the sealed case through dripless quick-disconnect hoses.”

 

it continued, “the liquid coolant enters at about 115°f, circulates through the server case, and returns to the cdu at about 135°f. the heat removed from the server components can be ejected from the building via a dry cooler, or reclaimed for other use, such as heating the data center itself.”

 

the cooling solution is available to fit standard 42-u and 48-u racks with a liquid cooling manifold attached to the back.

 

liquidcool solutions recently released a report by the u.s. department of energy’s national renewable energy lab (nrel) that showed the results of lab tests, which found it was more effective than air cooling for dissipating heat from high-powered components.

 

“the eight servers were run continuously with the intel ptu software from sept. 28 through oct. 10, 2016, almost two weeks of continual operation,” the report detailed. this test was conducted at the nrel’s high-performance computing center. “the purpose was to show that operation could withstand normal disturbances in the esif’s erw temperature and pressure fluctuations.”

 

the report added, “the cpu temperatures were maintained below 77°c throughout the duration of the experiments with typical operation steady within ±2°c. all cpu temperatures were on average below 74°c. no computing anomalies were recorded.”

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