University of Leeds trials submerged servers

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iceotope system

THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS is running fully immersed servers, claiming 80 percent to 97 percent power consumption savings over traditional air cooling.

The university worked with Iceotope to fully submerge servers using non-conductive liquid. Now the university says it has deployed the servers after two years of testing.

Using 3M's Novec liquid, which is pumped through the servers, there are no fans in the system. The servers also use water in a heat exchanger, while a third coolant loop that uses so-called 'grey water' - rainwater or river water - is used to draw heat away from the servers.

The University claims the liquid cooling system uses 80 Watts of power to cool clusters that use 20KW and claims the system does away with the need for traditional datacentre support services such as air conditioning or air purification units.

Jon Summers from the University of Leeds School of Mechanical Engineering department said, "The liquid we are using is extraordinary stuff. You could throw your mobile phone in a tub of it and the phone's electronics would work perfectly. But the important thing for the future of computing and the internet is that it is more than 1,000 times more effective at carrying heat than air."

Nikil Kapur, another researcher from the university's mechanical engineering department, said the closed cooling system means that servers can be deployed in extreme environments, while at the other end of the spectrum its silent operation allows it to be used in classrooms. µ

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