Liquid cooling technology has been around for a long time, and while it has focused on mainframes, high-performance computing, and gaming applications, it is now being used for data center design. Because of the demands for IoT, AI, machine learning, big data analytics, edge application, and servers demanding high-power GPUs and CPUs to meet their business’ processing needs, we hear more about liquid cooling for data centers. Continue reading to learn four reasons why you should consider liquid cooling for your data center.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Energy consumption of data centers accounts for a significant percentage of our global energy, and there are now regulations and corporate initiatives requiring overall energy consumption reductions. Next to the IT systems, cooling system energy is the top energy consumer in data centers, but liquid cooling is a much more efficient approach than conventional air cooling. This is partly because of a significant reduction in IT fan energy (ranging from 4-15%.) In fact, a preliminary analysis by Schneider Electric suggests an overall energy reduction of over 10% with immersive liquid cooling.
When designing a data center, it is important to consider the amount of space required to house the IT equipment as well as the cooling infrastructure that supports it. As densities rise, the ratio of physical space dedicated to air cooling equipment increases. However, with liquid cooling, you can reduce the overall data center footprint for a given IT load through compaction. This is a major benefit for large data centers that want to expand in space-constrained regions, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.
IT equipment is being deployed in non-ideal edge environments more often than ever, such as manufacturing facilities, warehouses, distribution facilities, and industrial applications. These environments are not ideal because of airborne contaminants, ambient conditions, and lower quality of power. Liquid cooling represents an alternative solution, as the servers are separating from the environment. With the right approach, fans can be removed, and airborne contaminants are isolated from the IT equipment.
Reduce Water Usage
With conventional air cooling, high volumes of water are used for evaporative cooling to reach power usage effectiveness (PUEs) in the sub-1.2 range. For example, a 20MW data center consumes water that is equivalent to 2,500 people. This high water consumption not only increases operational costs, but many local municipalities are putting pressure on the data center industry with water resource constraints. Liquid cooling reduces, and can even eliminate, water usage from the cooling system.
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