A new white paper from TMGcore explores some of the opportunities and limitations of liquid immersion cooling, and how the technology pushes the heat limit.
One of the most critical challenges facing data centers today is how to deal with heat. TMGcore says that “from servers to data centers to on-the-ground applications, computing equipment is always constrained by cooling capacity.” In this white paper, they outline a number of the approaches that have been tried to “push against this ‘heat limit’ as it remains a principal barrier to better and faster processing technologies.”
The authors of the white paper look at critical advances in air cooling at both the server level and in terms of data center architecture. According to the paper, air cooling is still the most common method for transferring heat away from processors, and “more recent advances have incorporated liquid cooling technologies” into the mix.
“The most significant advances in computing power, capacity, efficiency, and density are constantly confronted by the material issue of mitigating the heat produced from processors.” – TMGcore, “Approaching the Heat Limit with Liquid Immersion Technology“
The paper explores some of the benefits and challenges of air cooling in data centers. The authors explain that “regardless of configuration alterations and irrespective of modifications related to scaling, addressing the heat limit with forced air cooling remains unable to effectively address three key issues.” Those issues are power density, energy efficiency, and infrastructure costs.
TMGcore then compares seven traditional liquid cooling technologies in terms of efficiency, density and practicality. The authors state that “there is nothing new about a fluidic approach to transitioning heat away from processing equipment, but advances in both understanding and deployment have informed new directions for pushing the heat limit.”
The authors present pros and cons of immersion cooling, explaining that “submerging servers in a dielectric liquid allows for significant energy savings today while also accommodating future load densities.” The paper also provides analysis on liquid cooling capacity and potential by comparing single-phase and two-phase heat transfer modes, passive and forced convection modes, containment methods, and fluid chemistry.
Download the full report to learn more about the opportunities and limitations of liquid immersion cooling.