How does mineral oil cooling work? What is the overall process?
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
In the simplest form, an electronic system such as a server can simply be submerged in an open bath of suitable liquid like mineral oil or Novec -- 3M's proprietary liquid coolant. One example is the 250 gallon rack immersion system from Green Revolution Cooling. The electronic system is powered and operated normally. Since the cooling liquid is inert and nonconductive, the power and electronic signals are unaffected. During normal operation, liquid absorbs the heat produced by the electronic devices like processors and memory.
The second and more complicated issue for mineral oil cooling is dealing with the heat absorbed into the liquid, and the solution depends on how warm the liquid becomes. For a single server in a simple open mineral oil bath, a basic pump may be enough to just circulate the fluid through some heat sink piping to dissipate any heat to the open air. Other systems may circulate the heated cooling fluid to some other form of heat exchanger system.
Companies like Iceotope, however, use a water-based heat exchanger system to pull heat from a blade server encased in a quantity of Novec. Water at about 45 degrees Celsius is introduced at the bottom of the blade and passed through a series of pipes within the passive Novec bath (the actual cooling fluid is not actively pumped or circulated). The water absorbs some heat from the Novec fluid and leaves the blade at a slightly higher temperature; usually less than 50 degrees C.
Dig Deeper on Data center design and facilities
Related Q&A from Stephen J. Bigelow
AWS Directory Service provides three options for running Active Directory in the cloud: Microsoft AD, Simple AD and AD Connector. What are the ...continue reading
Our enterprise connects resources in AWS to a local directory. What support does AWS Directory Service offer for messaging, and how can notifications...continue reading
Establishing a hybrid cloud is challenging enough without having to worry about management hassles. How can we connect and apply our existing Active ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.