What Is Immersion Cooling?
In Data Centers, rather than using traditional Air Circulation techniques to cool equipment, Immersion Cooling relies on a liquid dielectric coolant to draw away heat.
The coolant is circulated inside the system, coming into direct contact with the components.
Importantly, the dielectric coolant is extremely efficient at heat conduction – but does not conduct electricity at all.
The choice of coolant is reliant on the components to be cooled – the dielectric coolants must be chemically compatible to avoid negative interactions that could affect the operation of the system. Importantly, Immersion Cooling must not create electrical shorting either.
Typically the dielectric liquid is sealed inside the Data Center system and interfaced with a more traditional liquid (like water) via a heat exchanger that takes waste heat away from the dielectric fluid.
Circulating the coolant around the sealed system (a process known as forced convection) further enhances performance.
The addition of a Cooling Distribution Unit (CDU) and chiller or air blast cooler on the other side of the heat exchanger interface removes heat from the process and dissipates it remotely outside the facility.
QCooling’s CDU has additional benefits with its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) this operate the cooling system to the heat exchanger under negative pressure so that in the event of a leak or breach in the pipe no water is allowed to escape and therefore no damage can occur from water damage.
Where Is Immersion Cooling Used?
Because of its high level of efficiency, Data Center Immersion Cooling is becoming very popular in applications that require large amounts of heat exchange to optimize operations and protect equipment again overheating. The use of dielectric coolants means that Immersion Cooling can be used inside almost any system to help reduce temperatures.
Immersion Cooling is a cutting-edge heat reduction mechanism and is not yet widely used. Currently deployments are typically focused on cooling large power distribution components like transformers – partly because many specialists remain sceptical about the wisdom of submersing electrical equipment in liquid.
Immersion Cooling deployments in the IT field are being led from the very top, with high density Supercomputers from Cray demonstrating the value of the technology. Both the Cray-2 and Cray T90 use Immersion Cooling to protect CPUs for instance – since 1985 in the case of the Cray-2. Although not yet mainstream, Immersion Cooling is set to become increasingly important as IT technical staff struggle to contain increasing Data Center temperatures.
Why Choose Immersion Cooling?
Direct Immersion Cooling is significantly more effective than Air or Water cooling – a high heat transfer coefficient reduces the temperature rise of the chip surface above the actual temperature of the coolant. Forced convection and external chiller unit will further improve the performance of the coolant and assist with cooling in confined spaces – a typical scenario in modern IT equipment.
For custom hardware builds, Immersion Cooling offers all of the benefits outlined above. But even if your current IT infrastructure has no need for Immersion Cooling now, it pays to understand the basic principles outlined so you are ready to move forward when the time is right.
Direct Immersion Cooling is beginning to appear in enterprise-grade equipment, and CTOs will need to consider how to integrate it with their current infrastructure. To learn more about Immersion Cooling, or how QCooling can help you boost the performance of your existing system with our CDU with patented LPS Leak Prevention System and highly efficient external cooling plant, please get in touch with our engineers.
Call QCooling today on 1-866-307-7333 to speak to our experienced engineers and discuss your Data Center Immersion Cooling requirements!