Originally posted on Data Center POST

The blend of sustainability and efficiency is critical for data center cooling technologies as we move towards a future of lower energy consumption in the data center industry. Some sustainable solutions leave operations less efficient, while other more operationally efficient solutions are less environmentally friendly. Paired with rapidly increasing data transmission rates, infrastructure providers are presented with unique challenges in implementing hard drives capable of maintaining high performance levels, which themselves create the need for more powerful cooling methods. Iceotope Technologies, a leading liquid cooling solution provider for edge and data center operators, is pushing forward with industry-leading advancements in liquid cooling. As such, on November 30th, 2022, Iceotope announced that Meta joined the company in a first-of-its-kind test of the effectiveness of liquid cooling for data center racks.

In the first known study of its kind, Meta implemented chassis-level liquid cooling technology to test its efficiency against traditional air cooling solutions in cooling mass-capacity hard disk drives (HDDs). In the study, Meta re-engineered an air cooling system to fit the single-phase liquid immersion cooling, filled with helium and sealed, in a 72 hard drive system. The metrics Meta measured in this study were temperature variation and cooling pump power in both the liquid and air cooling systems to compare their performance. 

Meta concluded the test stating conclusive results. Firstly and notably, precision immersion cooling was a more efficient means of cooling than its air cooling counterpart. Four conclusive results regarding the liquid cooling solution are as follows: 

  • System cooling accounted for under 5% of the total power consumption
  • HDD systems reliably operated in rack water at temperatures of up to 40°C
  • The temperature variance was only 3°C in all 72 HDDs tested
  • Vibrational issues caused in HDD racks often associated with air cooling were mitigated

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