Electronics Protection - June/July 2012 - (Page 14)
Feature Fluid Submersion Technology for Green Data Center Cooling
Q&A with Christiaan Best, CEO and founder Green Revolution Cooling Owners and operators of data centers are always looking for new, more efficient ways to cool their servers. Cooling comes in many forms from CRAC units and fans, to liquid cooling. Electronics Protection Magazine took some time to talk with Christiaan Best, CEO and founder of Green Revolution cooling about liquid submersion cooling and its place in the industry. Secondary benefits include reduced noise and vibration from absence of fans that improves relability of hard drives and components. The constant flow of dielectric fluid reduces hotspots. Users are also able to over-clock processors, resulting in more bang for the buck. Another benefit is improved connections at the motherboard level, due to the absence of corrosion, dust and particulates.
What Makes Dielectric Fluid Safe? Is There Rust? What About Spills and Contamination?
What is the Biggest Barrier for a Fluid Submsersion Solution in the Data Center Cooling Industry?
The simple answer is that submersion cooling redefines the status quo. But the current status quo, in all honesty, is very obviously flawed. When data center operators need ear plugs to protect their hearing and cold jackets to work in the hot aisle, something is clearly amiss. Data center CAPEX needs to be spent on computing power, on silicon, and that is precisely what we’re trying to enable. Submersion liquid cooling technology requires no specialized infrastructure whatsoever (raised floors, air conditioning, etc.) and is able to cool the densest loads more efficiently. We think the tremendous cost savings alone will be enough to overcome the barrier long term.
Our dielectric fluid is a blend of highly refined white mineral oil. In other words, it’s baby oil without the fragrance. It’s powerful, eco-friendly, non-toxic and readily available worldwide. Some data center operators prefer to wear gloves when reaching through an inch or two of fluid to pull out a server; otherwise, the only side effect is soft hands. We recommend installing containment to catch errant drips of coolant.
What is Fluid-Submersion Like for Data Center Operators?
Although the principles are the same, data center operators and technicians are required to make a few changes to their workflows when using this technology. For example, when pulling a server to work on, servers are placed momentarily on moveable support rails above the rack so that any coolant in the server will spill back into the rack. The coolant has low viscosity, so this process takes less than a minute. When transporting servers, a utility dolly should be used to prevent coolant from dripping on the floor. Generally, when we talk to data center operators, they tell us that the learning curve is not very long and that they’re happy to work with submerged servers if it saves their company so much money.
The dielectric submersion cooling system is a turn-key solution in the truest sense of the word. The system is comprised of racks, pump modules (for circulating coolant through the racks) and a final path of heat rejection. There is no air conditioning required, no raised floors required, no fans required at all. The system only needs access to power and water for removing server heat from the coolant. The definition of data center space is ready for a baseline shift, this technology could be installed in a barn, an office building or a container in the parking lot. There is a tremendous bundle of savings there for the company that is charged with building a new data center from the ground up and wants to avoid virtually all infrastructure development costs.
If it Really is a Turn-Key Solution, Can it Be Installed Anywhere?
What Happens During System Failure? Are There Disaster Recovery Contingencies in Place?
What are Some of the Benefits of Liquid Submersion Cooling?
The number one answer is cost savings. For example the CarnotJet system will reduce overall data center energy use by 40 to 45 percent. This savings comes from two sources, fans are absent in submerged servers, reducing server power by 10 to 20 percent, and cooling energy is reduced by 95 percent because of the efficiency of our coolant as a heat transfer agent. During build-out, the technology requires no expensive infrastructure. No CRACs, no chillers, no raised floors and no air conditioning whatsoever. Using this technology, you can put one of the most efficient and powerful data centers in the world in converted office space, in a warehouse, or in a container in your parking lot.
Compared to best-practice air cooling solutions, submersion cooling allows much more leeway and security in the event of system failure. The thermal inertia of the fluid coolant affords one to three hours of cooling after system failure. This is in contrast to mere minutes afforded by air cooling before servers begin to overheat and turn off.
What Sort of Monitoring Systems Are in Place?
The CarnotJet system features an array of diagnostic and alert features. We have spent three years developing a suite of proprietary management software that fully integrates with data center dashboards via BACnet. Precision instrumentation measures every possible variable and point of failure in the system. The system also features predictive warnings if a component appears to be wearing down. There is also a nominal fee to have GRC remotely monitor your cooling system 24/7.
June/July 2012 www.ElectronicsProtectionMagazine.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronics Protection - June/July 2012
Electronics Protection - June/July 2012
FLIR T-series Cameras Introduce Thermal Image Enhancement Technology
Renewable Raw Materials - The Future of Plastic Enclosures
Global Electronic Enclosure Resins and Markets
Ferrite Testing Reveals Significant Performance Variations
Packaging Solutions for Critical Electronics Protection in Challenging Environments
Fluid Submersion Technology for Green Data Center Cooling
TRTL BOT Unveils KidSafe Case for iPhone 4 and 4S
Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solution Releases New D2D ATR 3U OpenVPX Chassis
Stulz Introduces CyberRow Data Center Cooling Solution
Abbott Technologies Offers New Sealed Power Supply
New Engineered Multi-Cavity Shielding Solution
Gore Enhances Product Performance with new of Screw-in Vents
Calendar of Events
Electronics Protection - June/July 2012