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It has been a long time coming, partly because it seems counter-intuitive to mix electronics with liquids, but liquid cooling for data centres is now making headway in North America. It’s a key development because liquid is far more efficient than air cooling, and because the volume of worldwide data processing is exploding, and the reducing operational costs for data centers has become a business priority.

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Articles in a number of North American trade journals, including the current edition of Plumbing & HVAC Magazine have described systems using tiny heat exchangers and others immersing electronic racks in dialectic oil. With either of these approaches, there is a tendency to house the racks more compactly, thus concentrating cooling on the electronics, rather than a larger server room.

Free cooling, ocean cooling and several other approaches are also in use, but liquid cooling appears to be the most efficient solution and may be shaping up as the way of the future.  Early pilot tests are behind us, and systems are being installed around the world.

Analysts suggest that that IP traffic was in the order of 4.7 billion zettabytes in 2015, and might rise to 15.3 zettabytes by 2020, as data users around the world keep streaming Netflix, sharing on Facebook and buying things from eBay or Amazon (a zettabyte is one sextillion [or 1021] bytes, or a trillion gigabytes).

If the trend continues, this could be a promising new cooling market for HVAC professionals who seize the opportunities.

More info: http://plumbingandhvac.ca/liquid-cooling-for-data-centres/