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Hot Water Cooling

You might have read my earlier post regarding handling IT temperature, well, in this post I am bringing some new cooling technologies that use minimal power by using hot water to cool the systems.

The heading may look like an oxymoron, but read further about some projects which have successfully implemented this technology.

IBM’s SuperMUC
LRZ SuperMUC system was built with IBM System xiDataPlex Direct Water Cooled dx360 M4 servers. IBM’s new hot water cooling technology directly cools active components in the system with coolant temperatures that can reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

So how exactly are they able to use hot water? The logic is straightforward.

By bringing the cooling system directly to the processors, RAM’s IBM superMUC allows increased inlet temperatures. So when we use higher temperature coolants, the power to cool the coolant is reduced and the system can save up to 40% of power.

The system uses capillary pipes to bring coolant to the active component. The coolant picks up the heat and then leaves the system and cools itself down with the help of fresh air.

eBay’s Mercury Project
Dean Nelson, director of Global Foundation services for eBay, has designed a data center which can operate at 100 degrees. eBay deployed this data center container from Dell, where it was able to use a water loop as warm as 89 degrees Fahrenheit and still keep the servers running safe.

Dell warranties that its servers for fresh-air cooling solutions are capable of running at 110 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 1000 hours per year and 120 hours Fahrenheit for 100 hours per yearTo make this possible the system is designed with an unusually tight “Delta T” (which is the difference between the temperature of air at the serve inlet and the temperature as it exits the back of the rack).

Even though these two project have different approaches, the power used to cool the systems is reduced as hot water is used to cool them. In turn using hot water to do this allows the use of fewer chillers.

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