Why liquid is the future


The datacentre industry is at the peak of its growth. New datacentres are continuously being built and the challenges for datacentres are growing as fast as the industry itself. This growth is accompanied by a high demand for high density datacentres and platforms. The main cause of the increasing demand is the Internet of Things (IoT) and a global move to cloud based computing.

– by Rolf Brink, CEO Asperitas

The industry is consuming about 5% of the global energy supply and it is still growing. This has caused the focus to shift from high amounts of floor space with distributed IT environments, to high density and energy efficient centralised cloud environments.

Air based cooling becomes an ever growing challenge with the increasing demand for these high density cloud environments. Extreme wind speeds within server racks (5-10 Beaufort) are required to cool high density environments and air becomes ever more problematic in these environments with vibration issues, high IT overhead for fan energy, zinc whiskers across IT components and power thirsty cooling installations.

The focus has been on cooling, the biggest overhead. The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) has been adopted as a major KPI for datacentres. The formula is simple: total energy footprint of the facility divided by the energy consumed by IT. The downside of this approach is that IT inefficiency is being rewarded, thus leaving the focus on high energy savings on cooling installations and less on possible energy reduction by increasing the energy efficiency of the IT itself.

This is where Total Liquid Cooling of IT, also called Immersion Cooling,comes in. It means the complete immersion of electronic components in a dielectric liquid. By doing so, all the heat generated by the IT is captured in the liquid. Suitable dielectric liquids can absorb approximately 1500 times more heat energy than air with the same volumes and temperatures.