Why “Green Cooling” Is Not Only Ideal but Necessary for the Environment cover

Why “Green Cooling” Is Not Only Ideal but Necessary for the Environment

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On: January 20, 2022 Comments: 0
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As climate catastrophes continue to mount and concern regarding environmental stability continues to increase, more and more industries are shifting to green energy sources. Airlines, electronics, and numerous other technologies have undergone reorientation to become more sustainable.

As the global economy demands ever more electricity, we have to figure out how to mitigate the environmental impacts of our escalating energy habits. Renewable energy provides the best opportunity to decrease carbon and other emissions, as well as provide cleaner and quieter communities, and cost savings for businesses.

The Demand for Energy is Greater Than Ever

With new technologies built into daily life from factories or offices to the home, we now use more energy than ever. Global energy demand is expected to increase by 100 gigawatts in the next year alone.

The economic bounce-back from Covid-19 is putting increasing pressure on existing power supplies. The pandemic removed an entire percentage point of global power demand in 2020. Demand then rebounded in 2021 with an estimated 5% increase, and another 4% is expected for 2022. It is evident, then, that the economic recovery is concurrently driving a surge in power use.

One area measurably affected by this push towards greater energy demand is the modern data center. Data centers have evolved from simple servers for straightforward web pages to now feeding the internet of things, artificial intelligence, edge, 5G, and numerous other processor-intensive workloads. With all of this demand, data centers are turning to green cooling technologies like GRC’s immersion cooling systems. Companies see drastically electrical costs for immersion cooling, as well as savings in building data centers—this on top of the environmental advantages.

green cooling

The Silver Lining in Carbon Reduction

There’s a slight silver lining to the increased use of electricity we’re seeing, however. While energy demand and carbon emissions are going up, renewable energy usage is increasing even faster. The benefits of renewable energy provides a sustainable source of electricity to power data centers and other applications, while also reducing carbon emissions.

Over 20 of the top tech companies, including the likes of Facebook and Google, have gone green by using only renewable energy for their data needs. This transfers gigawatts of power generation from non-renewable to environmentally friendly sources.

In addition to generating electricity more sustainably, data centers can also more effectively control their power use, thanks to more energy-efficient servers and infrastructure. A substantial part of any data center’s power use goes into cooling (in some cases 40%!)—so environmentally sustainable “green cooling” makes an attractive target for environmental efforts.

Green cooling involves the use of “liquid immersion,” in which you put servers directly into an electrically non-conductive fluid. The science has been around for some time, but this technology has only become safe and efficient for data centers in recent years through the work of companies like GRC.

GRC’s innovative ICEraQ system uses an eco-friendly liquid coolant to decrease data center electricity consumption by a large fraction. This liquid coolant provides an environmental double-hitter: it eliminates energy use for cooling, and then also removes some of the energy used for servers themselves. Each kilowatt-hour of power produces around a pound of carbon dioxide, so data centers using the ICEraQ stand to save tens of millions of pounds of emissions.

Green Cooling Helps Clean the Air

Why is green cooling tech like liquid immersion necessary for the environment? These technologies have recently been developed to drastically cut the unsustainable use of older cooling techs. In the contest of liquid vs. air cooling, new single-phase liquid immersion systems can eliminate around half of a data center’s energy consumption.

For instance, oil & gas company CGG halved its energy use, while also doubling server volume within its power infrastructure, with liquid immersion cooling. The business had a large but unusable data center, which burned through as much electricity to air-cool the site as the servers used themselves!

CGG deployed GRC’s ICEraQ liquid immersion solution to save the day. These 4 x 42U racks boast an impressive 100kW cooling capacity, allowing for modular build-out and no downtime. CGG made a painless transition to green cooling, with products installed in mere weeks, and at low cost.

As a result of going green with immersion cooling, the company made their facility fully functional again, while slashing pollution, maintaining balanced server temperatures, and even decreasing noise. Plus, as an added bonus, now the servers operate so quietly that technicians can have conversations right in the room, unlike with loud air cooling.

There is Reduced Carbon Emission

As liquid immersion cooling spreads to more data centers, there will be a concurrent sizable decrease in carbon emissions. This technology is on its way to being a staple of digital enterprise. Data centers have drawn attention for their massively increasing energy use, often from carbon-emitting sources like coal. Green cooling addresses this problem effectively.

The public as well as legislators have made efforts towards decreasing carbon emissions in many industries, as fossil fuels produce record-high carbon dioxide emissions. Never have we faced the same need to find environmentally responsible solutions. Now that digital devices draw a hefty portion of the global power supply, we need to make data centers produce less carbon. We need green cooling.

green cooling

Energy Efficiency at Its Best

The energy efficiency of a data center determines how clean and green it can be. More efficiency translates into fewer lost resources and greater performance. Liquid immersion cooling offers data centers far more efficient than traditional air cooling can ever muster.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology has put the energy efficiency potential of computing to the test by building the greenest supercomputer ever, TSUBAME-KFC. This supercomputer combines green software and hardware techniques, such as using more graphics processors than central processing units, while running custom code.

One of the main sources of energy efficiency, however, is not in the computers themselves but in the cooling system. TSUBAME-KFC also uses a GRC liquid immersion cooling system. This removes much of the air cooling cost—as well as some of the resource use for the processors themselves, which run more efficiently under liquid.

And the results speak for themselves. The Japanese supercomputer managed to reach astonishing four-and-a-half gigaflops for each watt! That’s more than 40% better than the previous record, thanks to the energy efficiency of liquid cooling. As a result, TSUBAME-KFC was listed as Green500’s most environmentally friendly supercomputer.

Experience a Cleaner Way of Cooling With GRC

The modern world is a digital world, and all those digital devices demand cooling. Green cooling is the way to go. Data centers are becoming some of the heaviest users of electricity, producing messy emissions as a byproduct. However, new liquid immersion minimizes environmental effects and make data centers immensely more energy efficient.

In just the last decade, GRC has carried immersion cooling from its infancy to a well-established technology now employed by many top government agencies, search engines, and other leading-edge users. Customers have already found that immersion cooling gives them a clean, green cooling machine for even the toughest applications.

Whether you need to manage a shipping container with servers ready to run, a large server facility, or anything in between, GRC has you covered. Find out how liquid immersion can save you money, make your data center more manageable, and protect the environment. Contact GRC today!