graphic showing energy efficiency

Building Energy Efficiency Using Immersion Cooling

On: January 19, 2023 Comments: 0

Amid a growing concern for the amount of electricity data centers use, operators are now intensely focused on improving their energy efficiency as much as possible. Technology to more effectively fuel IT infrastructure and cooling systems is in high demand—and among the most popular and successful is liquid immersion cooling.

Data centers use immense amounts of energy to power and cool servers. Processor power is increasing to meet society’s growing needs, so you can’t trim that back. Cooling, however, is traditionally conducted with inefficient air-based systems—so this is definitely an area where the industry can cut back its excessive energy use.

Liquid immersion cooling replaces air cooling with a vastly more efficient design. Servers are submerged in fluid that absorbs excess heat without using excessive energy. It’s a sharp contrast to traditional air cooling systems, which require oversized and inefficient machine support that eats up electricity and dispels heat, but does little to directly cool servers.

Over the last decade, liquid immersion has gone from an upstart to a rapidly expanding global phenomenon, which many experts see as the future of data center cooling. Even before finding its way into data centers, the underlying technology had proven itself for decades in industrial uses. Today, liquid immersion cooling systems from Green Revolution Cooling (GRC) offer the most energy-efficient cooling solution for any data center.

data center servers
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The Energy Efficiency of Data Centers

Each data center has a different level of energy efficiency. This measures how much electricity goes into the data center to power processors, storage and networking devices, cooling systems, and other equipment.

A more energy-efficient data center is more profitable, so it’s important to measure efficiency accurately. However, it’s also a complex endeavor—there’s no agreement on a single method to measure electricity use.

One common metric for analyzing the performance of different data centers is power usage effectiveness (PUE). This assesses how much electricity is used for tasks other than IT. The higher the reading, the more energy wasted.

For instance, a PUE of 2 says the data center uses one part energy for IT to each part energy for cooling and other accessory uses. By contrast, a PUE of 1.02 says the data center uses 0.02 parts energy for cooling to each part energy for IT. Thus, a low PUE of 1.02 is energy efficient—while a high PUE of 2 is extremely inefficient.

The PUEs of data centers have generally dropped (i.e., improved) over recent decades, thanks to innovative cooling technologies. Not long ago, data centers had PUEs worse than 2: they were wasting most of their energy. By contrast, GRC’s liquid immersion cooling delivers that golden 1.02 PUE ratio. It’s much more energy efficient than the air cooling commonly used in traditional data centers.

How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Data Center

Given the large proportion of energy in data centers that goes into cooling systems, the smartest way to enhance a facility is to use an efficient cooling solution like liquid immersion. As a result, each server operation will waste less energy.

There are other steps you can take to improve data center efficiency. For example, regular hardware maintenance keeps devices running well. Old or inactive servers can be disposed of responsibly, instead of eating up valuable resources. And, you can install more energy-efficient equipment such as the latest generations of central processing units (CPUs) and sensor-controlled LED lighting.

It’s also more cost-effective to add hardware to an efficiently-run data center than to enhance a less-efficient facility (or build an unnecessary new one). Some other ways to improve energy efficiency include:

  • Using solid state drives rather than magnetic drives
  • Using a direct current instead of alternating current supply
  • Utilizing large cloud resources
improve the energy efficiency of your data center
Source: Shutterstock

How Can Increasing Your Energy Efficiency Help You?

Making your data center energy efficient has many benefits—starting first and foremost with your bottom dollar. If you’re dumping half your energy budget into cooling, you’re wasting your money. Upgrading to liquid immersion can cut 95% of your cooling costs right away.

The cost savings aren’t only operational.You also save on upfront expenditures as you design your data center. There’s no need for generators, vast floor space, or other indirect costs—GRC’s immersion cooling system wipes out these unnecessary expenses.

A more energy-efficient liquid immersion cooling system also runs more quietly than air cooling. Think of the difference between a diesel engine and an electric vehicle. Technicians can talk right next to the immersion tanks without wearing ear protection or risking hearing loss.

What’s more, the many advantages of energy efficiency extend beyond your own organization. Wasting energy causes pollution and depletes resources in the environment. With efficient liquid cooling, you’re benefiting society now and in the future. Inefficient data centers risk fines and public backlash, while energy-efficient data centers receive acclaim and grants.

Boost Your Data Center’s Energy Efficiency with GRC

The amount of energy your facility uses to power and cool its servers matters to both your financial status and the environment. This makes it critical to improve the energy efficiency of data centers.

There are several approaches to boosting efficiency, but none so practical as liquid immersion cooling. This new technology eliminates most unnecessary use of electricity in your data center. It also costs half as much as legacy air cooling—so deploying liquid immersion ASAP is an easy call.

GRC is the leading supplier of energy-efficient liquid immersion cooling systems. Whether you’re cooling just one rack or a hyperscale data center, the immersion racks are quick and easy to set up and will keep your servers running well for years while saving you money.

Are you ready to green your data center—and profit from doing so? Contact GRC to start improving energy efficiency in your facility.