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John O | March 2018

System for cooling high-performance computing gets look from Sandia and NREL

by josh perry, editor


aquila, a new mexico-based technology company, has announced a new, warm-water cooling solution for data centers, powered by the latest intel xeon processors, which has been installed at the national renewable energy laboratory (nrel) and is being evaluated by researchers at the sandia national laboratory in albuquerque, n.m.


aquarius is being tested at the nrel and at sandia national lab.


according to a report from nextplatform.com, the thermal solution uses a fixed cold plate and is based on technology designed in conjunction with clustered systems. aquarius is intended to bring the heat transfer capabilities of immersion cooling without requiring the liquid to touch any of the components.


“the rack-based technology will be tested in the ‘yacumama’ cluster at the nrel’s water-cooled hpc center in colorado before being moved into a new datacenter at sandia in new mexico,” the article added.


according to the aquila website, “today, as server numbers multiply and power usage continues to spiral upward, liquid cooling returns as the most efficient cooling solution, allowing for high-density server racks and increasing data center pue – a winning combination!


“forced air-cooling has outlived its effectiveness, and the industry is moving toward warm water cooling to tap next-generation server technologies while lowering power usage.”


the solution was inspired by the open compute platform (ocp) and is designed in a rack system that is rugged, nearly silent, and easy to use.


the website added, “the aquarius compute rack can accommodate up to 108 s2600kp intel® xeon® dual processor servers. one aquarius rack can take the place of as many as eight 12 kw air-cooled server racks, eliminating as much as 90% of the forced air-cooling your data center will require. the significant impact on capex, opex, and tco will realize a near-immediate positive impact on the bottom-line cost of your data center’s operation.”


nextplatform.com explained that the cold plates are made from stainless steel and boards are suspended below the cold plate allowing the liquid to flow below the server with little possibility of damage being caused.


“another key difference is that the aquarius system removes heat from any component on the motherboard that generates two or more watts of power, rather than focusing on the cpu like many dlc solutions,” the article continued. “that eliminates the need for auxiliary fans for such components as memory, so – along with the power-conversion technology – removes two points of failure in a cluster, the fans and power supplies.”


learn more about the system in the video below:

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