Single-phase immersion cooling is a type of submerged server cooling. This liquid cooling method involves the usage of a dielectric coolant that stays in liquid form during the cooling process. The coolant has a high coefficient of heat rejection and low thermal resistance, which protects the equipment submerged in the liquid.
How Does Single-Phase Immersion Cooling Work?
Servers are submerged in a dielectric coolant that is similar to mineral oil. Heat is transferred from the server components to the liquid, but it does not boil off as in two-phase immersion cooling. The liquid remains in the same state and is cooled via a heat exchanger. This cooling method does not require complex infrastructure, CRACs, CRAHs, or chillers making it very effective and low maintenance.
What Are the Advantages of Single-Phase Immersion Cooling?
Efficiently cooling servers is crucial due to the increasing densities and rising temperatures of data centers and IT equipment. Some of the advantages of single-phase immersion cooling include:
- Better Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). Both single- and two-phase immersion cooling result in a lower PUE than the traditional air-cooled data centers.
- Higher rack densities. Using this method of immersion cooling, data centers can potentially reduce their IT footprint by 70% compared to air-conditioned facilities.
- Reduced energy usage. Compared to other cooling methods, single-phase immersion cooling uses up to 50% less energy.
- Lower maintenance costs. Since the cooling fluid evaporates and needs to be replaced in two-phase immersion cooling, single-phase cooling eliminates this repetitive financial cost.
What Are the Disadvantages of Single-Phase Immersion Cooling?
Other than the upfront installation costs, there are not many disadvantages to this method of cooling in data centers, but it is not completely superior to all other techniques. Two-phase immersion cooling does have one advantage over single-phase which is having a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.02 compared to 1.03, meaning less than 3% of the total energy is used on cooling. While both immersion cooling processes can support high-density rack performance, two-phase cooling has the capacity to support slightly more kilowatts at about 250 kW per rack versus 200 kW.
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High-density racks are great for fitting more compute capacity in a smaller footprint, but cooling and managing them can be a struggle.
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