Intelligent Data Centres Issue 43 - Page 54

MECHANICAL COOLING METHODS HAVE LONG BEEN GROWING UNFIT FOR THE NEEDS OF THE MODERN DATA CENTRE .
intelligent POWER AND COOLING

Rising temperatures highlight need for liquid cooling systems

The rising frequency of extreme weather periods in Europe necessitates a move towards liquid cooling systems , suggests a sector expert .

This warning follows record-breaking temperatures in the UK as of late , with some locations exceeding 40 ° C . As a result , a number of high-profile service providers in the nation experienced outages that impacted customer service as far as the US .
One operator attributed the failure to ‘ unseasonal temperatures .’ However , with the UK MET Office warning that heatwaves are set to become more frequent , more intense and longlasting , Gemma Reeves , Data Centre Specialist at Alfa Laval , believes that data centres will need to transition to liquid cooling systems in order to cope . “ The temperatures observed are a sign of what is to come ,” said Reeves . “ Summers are continuing to get hotter by the year , so it ’ s important that data centres are able to manage the heat effectively .
“ Mechanical cooling methods have long been growing unfit for the needs of the

MECHANICAL COOLING METHODS HAVE LONG BEEN GROWING UNFIT FOR THE NEEDS OF THE MODERN DATA CENTRE .

modern data centre , with July ’ s weather only serving to highlight this . As both outside temperatures and rack densities continue to rise , more efficient approaches to cooling will clearly be necessary .”
Traditional mechanical cooling systems make use of an electronically-powered chiller , which creates cold air to be distributed by a ventilation system . However , most mechanical cooling systems in the UK are designed for a maximum outdoor temperature of 32 ° C – a figure which continues to be regularly exceeded .
Here , Reeves believes that liquid cooling can solve this challenge . Cooling with dielectric fluid rather than air means that the cooling systems may be run at much higher temperatures .
Liquid cooled principles such as direct-tochip , single-phase immersive IT chassis , or single-phase immersive tub allow for the servers to remain cool despite much higher outdoor air temperatures , while maintaining lower energy consumption and providing options for onward heat reuse . In studies , this has also showed to increase lifetime for servers due to maintaining stable stasis .
“ The data centre sector remains in an era of air-based cooling ,” said Reeves . “ That said , July ’ s recent heatwave may be the stark reminder the sector needs that these systems are not sustainable in the long term .
“ Liquid cooling is truly the future of data centres , this technique allows us to cool more quickly and more efficiently than ever before , which will be a key consideration with temperatures on the rise .” �
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