Two-phase immersion cooling, also known as evaporative cooling or flow boiling, is a type of submerged server cooling. It is a liquid cooling technique in which the coolant exists as both a liquid and a gas at different stages of the cooling process.
This type of submerged server cooling is best suited for high-density racks due to its higher cooling capacity, although it can be very expensive.
How Does Two-Phase Immersion Cooling Work?
In two-phase immersion cooling, servers are submerged in a pool of liquid. Heat is transferred from the server components to the liquid and changes its state of matter to a gas. The gas rises above the fluid pool to a condenser which changes the gas back to a liquid. Finally, the liquid is directed back into the pool to repeat the process.
What Are the Advantages of Two-Phase Immersion Cooling?
Most two-phase immersion cooling systems operate at a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.028, meaning less than 3% of the total energy is used on cooling. The remaining 97% is consumed by IT equipment, which translates to more energy efficiency, improved system reliability, and the ability to operate at higher densities.
What Are the Disadvantages of Two-Phase Immersion Cooling?
Two-phase immersion cooling systems often require more maintenance and are much more difficult to access and repair if adjustments are needed. Therefore, it is important to assess the needs and characteristics of the facility before employing two-phase immersion cooling, as it may be more costly and less efficient in the long run. This is also a relatively new technology that has yet to be widely deployed, so there are not as many resources available for this cooling technology.
How Does Two-Phase Immersion Cooling Differ From Single-Phase Immersion Cooling?
Where the coolant exists as both a liquid and gas in two-phase immersion cooling, it does not change its state and remains a liquid in single-phase immersion cooling.
Generally, two-phase immersion cooling requires less mechanical cooling infrastructure, which allows for little to no water usage, better use of space, and overall higher energy efficiency than that of single-phase immersion cooling systems. The liquid used in two-phase immersion cooling is also engineered for higher boiling points, does not leave a residue, prevents fluid degeneration, and does not require a pump.
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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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