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    Not so obvious benefits of immersion cooling in your data center

    January 19, 2016

January 19, 2016

Not so obvious benefits of immersion cooling in your data center

tin_whiskers

Giving your servers a bath in an immersion cooling environment has some immediate benefits that we’d like to expose in this short article. There’s some obvious ones that we’ve mentioned many times like making your data center greener and slashing operation costs, but today we’re going to talk about some not so obvious benefits:

  • Silent Operation: this one is straight-forward. All fans on the servers are usually removed before placing them into their dielectric bath. Of course even if they had fans, by placing them in a fluid we’re immediately silencing them. It might not sound as a great benefit, but for those of us that’ve worked for hours in a row with servers inside a server room, we’ve felt the pain. Its very impressive to walk into a immersion cooling data center room with hundreds or thousands of kW’s of IT hardware submerged and not hear a thing. The dual pump system is just as silent, so you won’t be hearing them either.

  • Electrochemical Migration: immersing servers into dielectric fluid also dissipates any risk with ECM, which is characterised by the movement of metal ions between adjacent metal conductors, forming dendrites. The main reasons behind ECM are moisture, the presence of mobile metal ions and a high potential gradient (expressed in Volts per unit length, like V/cm).
  • Tin & Zinc Whiskers: For those of you that aren’t familiar with these, Tin whiskers are electrically conductive, crystalline structures of tin that sometimes grow from surfaces where tin (especially electroplated tin) is used as a final finish. Zinc whiskers are a phenomenon that can occur on the bare metal surfaces of access flooring systems. Affected components include some wood-core and some concrete-core computer room flooring panels as well as some pedestals and stringers. The whiskers grow on the underside (plenum side) of the floor panels or the exposed surfaces of the structural components. The whiskers are typically 2 microns in diameter and over time (many years), they can grow to be several millimeters in length. While the whiskers are attached to the floor panel or pedestal, they are basically benign. When the whiskers break free however, they become airborne and can circulate freely throughout the facility and get blown into your equipment, causing absolute mayhem without you even knowing. A cool thing about our pump system is that it has a layered filtering system that will capture these little monsters.
  • Environmental contaminant reduction: Dust, debris, particulates, vibrations and moisture are a massive risk for any data center and cause thousands of IT hardware failures in server rooms across the globe every day. Thanks to immersion cooling all of them are totally inexistent.
  • More stable and constant thermal environment: As the cooling fluid is constantly pumped and heat is quickly extracted from any hot components, IT hardware components are exposed to less stress and less temperature fluctuations. Server room hot spots don’t exist either. You don’t have to worry about somebody deploying a bunch of heavily loaded racks and completely screwing up your data center ventilation planning.

The Submer immersion cooling solution brings these benefits to your data center and many more, so if you haven’t already started bathing your servers, give it a try and contact us!