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What are the benefits of liquid immersion cooling?

Views: 4     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-14      Origin: Site

Liquid immersion cooling is the process of reducing heat in hardware by immersing it in a thermally conductive dielectric liquid.

One of the most basic examples of liquid immersion cooling is submerging standard air-cooled computer hardware in mineral oil. Oil, as a nonconductive and noncapacitive mineral, poses no threat to electronics.

This method is sometimes used by computer enthusiasts, who use standard aquariums to hold the hardware.

The fans keep spinning, circulating the oil over the heat sinks at a slower rate but with a more efficient fluid medium for cooling than air. This cools the components because the oil absorbs heat first and then benefits from evaporative cooling. However, that method cannot handle high heat loads and requires periodic replenishment of the oil.

Immersion cooling methods that are more sophisticated are used in showpiece computers, mainframes, and datacenters. These systems still use evaporative cooling and submerge the parts, but they are often closed systems, more like a hybrid between traditional liquid cooling and immersion cooling, complete with pumps and external radiators. Their liquid is typically a dielectric fluid with a lower boiling point than water. The liquid evaporates, condenses, and drips back into the tank. This cycle lowers the cost of fluid, which is frequently proprietary and costly.

Traditional data center cooling with chillers, heat pumps, and HVAC uses up to 99 percent less electricity than liquid immersion. Greater cooling at a lower cost allows for greater system density. Many immersion cooling setups are intricate. However, open bath systems that are simpler but very effective often have the lowest operational cost. Other advantages include nearly silent operation and less dust as a result of the reduced required airflow.

Water cooling can limit data center design flexibility because systems connected to plumbing cannot be easily rearranged. The combination of electronic systems and water also makes disaster recovery planning more difficult (DRP). Administrators must plan ahead of time how they will handle potential issues such as rust or leakage.

The coolant can be used in novel ways to transport heat to where it is needed, resulting in significant heat savings. The majority of data center immersion cooling solutions are costly to implement. However, because electricity is one of the most expensive operational costs, the initial investment in immersion cooling is typically quickly offset by power savings.

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