You may be familiar with the practice of liquid immersion cooling a PC in mineral oil. Not only does it make for flashy videos in the PC hobbyist community—it has major industrial applications that can increase the energy efficiency of your servers.
If you work in a GPU-heavy industry like cryptocurrency or video games, your carbon footprint and energy bills are much higher than they could be. Go green by investing in sustainable technology solutions like a modular computing unit that combines server and coolant in one integrated chassis.
Hypertec is partnering with Submer to bring sustainable technology solutions to your server rack. With Hypertec’s expertise in data center logistics and the unparalleled hardware solutions offered by Submer, you can build the optimal IT infrastructure for your unique needs.
We’ll explore the tech below before moving on to the specific benefits of a Hypertec liquid immersion cooling installation.
How liquid immersion cooling works
At its core, liquid immersion cooling involves submerging computer components or entire servers in a thermally conductive liquid. Waste heat from the server is passively transferred to the liquid. This liquid must have low or no electrical conductivity to avoid damaging the computer it cools.
Liquid immersion cooling comes in two flavours: single-phase and two-phase.
Single-phase liquid immersion cooling pumps the working fluid to a heat exchanger. There, the waste heat is transferred to a cool water circuit. This can be accomplished with minimal loss of the liquid immersion coolant.
Two-phase immersion cooling boils off the working fluid at the surface of the bath. The liquid immersion coolant is then cooled, condensed, and returned to the bath. Two-phase cooling can be slightly more efficient than single-phase cooling, though single-phase liquid immersion cooling systems are often lower maintenance.
Why does liquid immersion cooling with mineral oil, silicone, or synthetic dielectric blends beat out plain old water? At first glance, water cooling technology seems to cut out the middleman by dumping waste heat from servers directly into a cool water circuit. Unfortunately, when it comes to thermal transfer, taking the middleman out can actually decrease efficiency. Water cannot come into contact with computer hardware without causing serious damage. This means that the coolant can’t make direct contact with the servers or computer components, requiring an intricate system of pipes and pumps that must be absolutely watertight. Pumping all that water requires more electricity than a liquid immersion cooling system.
Why is liquid immersion cooling important?
Sustainable technology solutions are highly sought after in today’s market. The energy efficiency of liquid immersion cooling systems allows adopters to decrease their carbon footprint and increase their visibility among eco-conscious consumers.
EnergyStar, the agency that certifies energy-efficient appliances for government rebates, recommends that data centers transition from room-based air-cooling systems to cooling individual servers or racks. They cite tests by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Group and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to back this recommendation. In these tests, rack-based CRAC and CRAH water cooling systems are recommended for their high energy efficiency. Even more electricity could be saved by these data centers if they switched to liquid immersion cooling technology.
Case study: Microsoft
For industry giant Microsoft, air cooling is simply not efficient enough. Server use spikes irregularly for businesses that use Microsoft Azure cloud computing. Adjusting the temperature in a climate-controlled warehouse every time a production team suddenly needs extra server time isn’t just bad for Microsoft’s bottom line; it also increases the company’s carbon footprint.
To enable flexible cloud computing while staying energy efficient, Microsoft developed a two-phase liquid immersion cooling system with a proprietary working liquid. Power consumption per server was reduced by five to fifteen percent.
What you can expect from Hypertec after purchasing a liquid immersion cooling system
One major drawback of a liquid immersion cooling system is the cost of updating your IT infrastructure. Each time your business needs to change up the server racks in the data center, the immersion tanks and cooling liquid need expert maintenance.
Systems like the MicroPod address maintenance issues by delivering a liquid immersion cooling data center in a box, boasting a built-in liquid immersion cooling system with high energy efficiency and zero water requirements. Micropod’s modular nature means that individual IT infrastructure components can be swapped without overhauling the entire system.
Additional services provided with the purchase of a liquid immersion cooling system from Hypertec include:
- In-factory submerge preparation of equipment
- On-site installation
- HTS servers and storage
- Third party equipment like network switches and KVM
- A power distribution unit (PDU)
- Rack layout and design
- Receiving and unpacking hardware
- Inventory check
- Professional assembly and mounting in racks
- Provisioning and installation of power and network cables
- Intra-cabinet cabling
- System imaging
- Complete diagnostic and quality assurance inspections on all installed equipment
- Full documentation
- Serial number recording
- Cable list
- Layout and cable runs
- Visio diagrams
- Photo documentation
Hypertec’s liquid immersion cooling maintenance
With decades of experience in server maintenance, Hypertec is well-prepared to keep your liquid immersion cooling process running smoothly. Here’s what you can expect when you buy a liquid immersion cooling system from Hypertec:
- 1–3-year systems warranty on CIARA products
- Service Level Agreement that can include Return to Depot, onsite Next Business Day Servicing, and/or a full system or node swap
- Custom packaging for submerged equipment
- Boxes for chassis or nodes
- Sealed and antistatic plastic bags to avoid liquid leakage
Modular liquid immersion cooling units simplify adding and subtracting servers from your IT infrastructure. Rather than dismantling a cooling system that encompasses your entire rack, you can remove and replace individual components. Greater flexibility and simplicity in construction can be now added to the laundry list of benefits a liquid immersion cooling system will bring to your business.
When Hypertec’s rack-and-stack expertise is applied to plug-and-play liquid immersion cooling units, the gains in sustainability and utility could make your business the next industry leader in sustainable technology.
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