GRC's Cold Hard Facts Series - Liquid-Immersion Cooling Myths: Debunked: Part 2

Cold Hard Facts of Immersion Cooling – Part 2

Submitted by Dhruv Varma, GRC Director of Product Marketing
On: June 25, 2019 Comments: 0
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People believed the Earth was flat for hundreds of years. Though the comparison is not quite as weighty, GRC finds that many infrastructure and operations professionals hold misplaced ideas about liquid-immersion cooling that linger to this day.

This second in a series of articles delivers the cold hard truth. Read on and we’ll prove that liquid-immersion cooling can transform your data center and help you achieve operational goals you never thought possible

While it is true that an individual horizontal rack has a slightly larger footprint than a vertical rack, when you look at the fully burdened data center footprint, immersion cooling produces significant space savings:

Whether you’re trying to create a high-density zone within an air-cooled facility or looking to modernize a legacy data center with a retrofit. Immersion cooling allows you to easily add ultra-efficient, high-capacity cooling with little to no impact on your existing infrastructure. GRC’s immersion cooling systems can easily plug into any kind of facility water loop, including chiller return lines! And they can be installed on raised floors in white space, or on concrete floors in unconditioned spaces. That includes unused rooms, basements, even loading docks.

While a complete retrofit allows you to easily add compute capacity within existing power and space envelopes, high-density zones allow you to introduce different compute densities within the same data hall. This is fast becoming a popular method of adding HPC capabilities to legacy facilities. Our ICEraQ system’s modular design, minimal site requirements and support for high-density hardware make it an ideal choice for creating high-density zones.

Simplicity is at the core of immersion cooling with ICEraQ. With just three moving parts, its system’s ultra-efficient operation, lower up-front cost and superior performance are all driven by its ability to do more with less.

Simply changing the medium of heat transfer from air to our proprietary ElectroSafe™ coolant, eliminates a lot of complexity from the data center. Chiller plants, air handlers, humidity controls and the like are replaced with just three simple moving parts: a coolant pump; a water pump; and a cooling tower/dry-cooler fan. This translates into a more reliable system with fewer headaches for operators and technicians. So simple in fact, the only periodic maintenance required on the entire system is a filter change typically needed only once a year.

What’s more, GRC’s Foresight Data Center Monitoring Software makes maximizing uptime easy. It provides regular diagnostics with early fault detection and enables remote monitoring plus email alerts.

And since liquid-immersion-cooled servers use less power, they also allow you to significantly downsize backup generators, UPSs, batteries and more, which further reduces infrastructure costs. Overall, it’s like moving from an internal combustion engine to astate-of-the-art electric vehicle. All the little complex moving parts are replaced with fewer, more efficient components.

GRC liquid-immersion-cooling systems are designed to be installed on raised floors and concrete slabs alike. And while it may seem obvious, it is important to point out that when talking about floor loading, pressure on the floor is a more important consideration than gross weight alone. Because our racks are horizontal, they help evenly spread weight across their footprint, yielding a floor loading that is often less than that of an air-cooled rack.

Actually, liquid-immersion cooling eliminates the need for raised floors entirely. However, if you already have a raised-floor infrastructure, there’s no need to remove it, reinforce it, or modify it in any way. ICEraQ immersion-cooling systems can be installed on virtually any solid floor.

It’s important to realize that single-phase immersion cooling is a completely different approach than two-phase.

First, our proprietary ElectroSafe™ single-phase coolant is actually very affordable—a fraction of the cost of two-phase alternatives. ElectroSafe is also non-evaporative and doesn’t need to be replaced over the life of a data center. Plus, it requires virtually no maintenance.

Second, the coolant cost is built into the lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of GRC immersion-cooling systems. It’s not an additional expense.

Last, from a larger cost perspective, GRC ICEraQ immersion-cooling solutions have been proven to slash overall data center build costs 50%—coolant included. They reduce cooling energy and maintenance expenses by half as well.

Got an opinion? Let’s hear it

Myths die hard. But the truth lives forever. If you’ve taken a stand on liquid-immersion cooling, we’d love to have you share it. Just post a reply in the Comments section below. Or send us an email at info@grcooling.com or call +1 (512) 692-8003. A GRC associate will reach out and continue the conversation.

Now, watch for the next installment in our Cold Hard Facts Series. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to checkout Cold Hard Facts of Immersion Cooling – Part 1.