EcoDataCenter, the Swedish data center operator which aims to be climate-positive, is going to use immersion-cooled racks created by Iceotope and partners.

The chassis-level system, supplied by Iceotope, Schneider Electric and Avnet, will be installed in EcoDataCenter's colocation facility in Falun, which makes a point of reusing its waste heat in a district heating system and a combined heat and power (CHP) plant run by two of the founders of EcoDataCenter, the utilities Falu Energi and Vatten.

Using less energy

"The thing I’m excited about is that everything you’ve seen so far in liquid cooling has been customized projects for universities and HPCs, but now the interest from EcoDataCenter, will be pulling this through a traditional supply chain," Robert Bunger, program director in the CTO office at Schneider told DCD. "We are at the first steps of seeing how these kind of solutions can go from science projects and proofs-of-concept to industrialized solutions."

EcoDataCenter is the first customer for the joint system, announced by Iceotope, Schneider and Avnet in late 2019, which claims to cut the amount of energy used to cool data center IT by up to 90 percent, and overall data center energy use by up to 14 percent. Liquid cooling does away with the need for air conditioning systems and aisle containment, so the system also promises a lower operating cost and a smaller footprint. It should also improve hardware reliability, by providing a very consistent operating temperature.

The system cools 46kW per rack, and can scale up to more than 100kW per rack, with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.03. As well as its other benefits, liquid cooling captures wasted heat in a dense "high-grade" form, so EcoDataCenter will be more able to reuse it in the district heating and CHP schemes.

“EcoDataCenter has embraced this innovative new technology as an early-adopter, knowing that companies in the market will soon see the operational and environmental benefits, and follow our lead,” said Lars Schedin, CEO of EcoDataCenter.

David Craig, CEO of Iceotope, hinted to DCD that further announcements are in the pipeline including deals with engineering companies and OEMs. As well as colocation applications like EcoDataCenter, the technology is very suitable for edge applications, and is expected to appear in micro data centers designed to be deployed with minimum support at edge locations.

"As processing moves out to the edge, chassis-level liquid cooling adds to physical security, as a sealed box is more tamper proof," he said. "You have the ability to go 1.02-1.03 PUE, at the edge, straight out of the box. With liquid cooling a regular IT manager can deploy a couple of servers in a rack and achieve hyperscale PUEs, without insanely complicated systems."