If you take a moment to observe your surroundings, from your smartphone to tablets and AI apps – it’s evident how vital digital infrastructure has become in our daily lives. At the core of this ecosystem lie data centers, the cornerstone that keeps us connected, operational, and productive. But at what cost… In recent years, we’ve witnessed a surge in density levels, a rise in expenses linked to heating and power consumption, an increase in the waste of water, and a spike in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Organizations worldwide face the inevitable need to expand their capacity while maintaining both efficiency and sustainability. In this context – where data centers are here to stay – immersion cooling has emerged as a pioneering technology to combat these pressing challenges.
Nevertheless, numerous misconceptions persist about this innovative cooling solution. We’ve pinpointed the top five “myths” regarding immersion cooling with the goal of setting the record straight and encouraging you to explore this innovative and sustainable option for your data center management.
TOP FIVE IMMERSION COOLING MISCONCEPTIONS:
Myth #1: Immersion cooling requires special water treatment.
Contrary to a common misconception, immersion cooling solutions, particularly when employing the single-phase technique, do not necessitate additional water treatment compared to standard data center cooling methods. These systems use biodegradable liquids and remain non-toxic, making them environmentally friendly and safe.
Myth #2: Immersion cooling fluids are combustible.
Today, most immersion and closed-loop cooling systems incorporate oils as part of their design. While it’s true that these oils can become technically flammable when heated to the point of evaporation or condensation, this concern is addressed through appropriate safety labeling.
For the safest approach to prevent combustibility, enclosed loops and single-phase immersion solutions take the lead. These solutions utilize a single-phase immersion cooling technique, submerging servers in a thermally conductive dielectric liquid or coolant. This liquid is a significantly superior heat conductor compared to air, water, or conventional oils. Importantly, the coolant remains in a consistent state, ensuring that leading immersion cooling solutions are not combustible.
Myth #3: Immersion cooling systems are complex.
In next-generation immersion cooling solutions used today, complexity is no longer the norm. Even in advanced retrofit scenarios, installation and serviceability are now simpler than in earlier immersion cooling designs. Due to the specific design of the immersion tank, immersion-born solutions are easier to service by providing easy access to all critical components including power, connectivity, and, depending on the unit, a water loop. This marks a significant departure from the perceived complexity of traditional immersion cooling systems.
Myth #4: Air cooling is better understood and more widely used.
While it’s currently true that air cooling is the most common approach in data centers due to its established understanding and usage, modern immersion cooling system are redefining the landscape. These systems make use of standard data center components. In traditional data center setups, engineers can utilize the return water instead of a separate chilled water loop, improving power usage effectiveness (PUE). New immersion cooling systems are also designed to seamlessly integrate with the same infrastructure found in conventional data centers while offering superior benefits.
And it’s worth emphasizing that the data center industry is one of the last sectors to fully embrace immersion cooling. Interestingly, liquid cooling is employed in various everyday applications that many people may not be aware of. From large-scale computing to nuclear reactors, car engines, paper mills, and more, liquid cooling has long been a trusted and efficient method in other energy-intensive operations.
Myth #5: There is a risk of having liquids in a data center.
There’s a common perception of risk associated with having liquids in the data center, where it’s believed that the presence of liquid in a cabinet could potentially lead to system outages. However, the fluids used in immersion cooling are dielectric, which means they do not conduct electricity. Consequently, these liquids pose no risk to technology components. Moreover, the fluids employed in single-phase immersion cooling systems do not leave any residues, ensuring the safety and integrity of the equipment they cool.
In conclusion, immersion cooling emerges as a groundbreaking solution for the cooling of data centers, at the heart of today’s evolving IT infrastructure landscape. By dispelling these five common misconceptions, we’ve shed light on the exceptional potential of this technology to enhance efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and drive innovation in the industry.
But we’ve only scratched the surface. To understand the full scope and benefits of immersion cooling, we invite you to delve deeper. Discover comprehensive immersion cooling solutions specifically designed to power up and cool down your data center by visiting our Immersion Cooling Solutions page on the Hypertec website. Download the special Data Frontier Report available in this section to explore the extensive possibilities that immersion cooling offers for future-proofing your data center.
This post is also available in: FR