Energy consumption in data centers has seen a drastic increase in recent years. In data centers, server racks are cooled down in an indirect way by air-conditioning systems installed to cool the entire server room. This air cooling method is inefficient as information technology (IT) equipment is insufficiently cooled down, whereas the room is overcooled. The development of countermeasures for heat generated by IT equipment is one of the urgent tasks to be accomplished. We, therefore, proposed new liquid cooling systems in which IT equipment is cooled down directly and exhaust heat is not radiated into the server room. Three cooling methods have been developed simultaneously. Two of them involve direct cooling; a cooling jacket is directly attached to the heat source (or CPU in this case) and a single-phase heat exchanger or a two-phase heat exchanger is used as the cooling jacket. The other method involves indirect cooling; heat generated by CPU is transported to the outside of the chassis through flat heat pipes and the condensation sections of the heat pipes are cooled down by coolant with liquid manifold. Verification tests have been conducted by using commercial server racks to which these cooling methods are applied while investigating five R&D components that constitute our liquid cooling systems: the single-phase heat exchanger, the two-phase heat exchanger, high performance flat heat pipes, nanofluid technology, and the plug-in connector. As a result, a 44–53% reduction in energy consumption of cooling facilities with the single-phase cooling system and a 42–50% reduction with the flat heat pipe cooling system were realized compared with conventional air cooling system.
New Thermal Management Systems for Data Centers
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Ouchi, M., Abe, Y., Fukagaya, M., Kitagawa, T., Ohta, H., Shinmoto, Y., Sato, M., and Iimura, K. (July 16, 2012). "New Thermal Management Systems for Data Centers." ASME. J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl. September 2012; 4(3): 031005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4006478
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