Rochester, MN (6/27/2016) – LiquidCool Solutions (LCS) announced today the preliminary results of testing by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that validates LCS technology offers a cost-effective, highly-scalable solution to reduce the energy impact of data centers in commercial buildings.
LCS has an IP portfolio comprising 27 issued and 13 pending patents centering on cooling electronics via total immersion in a dielectric fluid. In a data center setting LCS technology decouples electronics from the environment, which serves to maintain lower CPU and memory temperatures, eliminates parasitic cooling energy used by fans, and achieves capital and energy cost savings for data centers. LCS’s technology more effectively dissipates heat from electronic equipment than air cooling or alternative liquid cooling systems, and reuses almost all of the rejected energy as a building heating source.
Because of the potential for this disruptive technology, Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator (IN2) Program selected LiquidCool Solutions to participate in the program to further develop and accelerate commercialization of its cooling system. The IN2 program, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by NREL on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is a $10-million program to accelerate early stage commercial building technologies.
Pursuant to the IN2 award, LCS’ Liquid Submerged Server (LSS) is being analyzed and reviewed at NREL, the United States’ principal laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is conducting the tests in two phases. In the first phase, which is now complete, NREL installed eight high-performance Liquid Submerged Servers at NREL’s Thermal Test Facility (TTF) in Golden, CO. NREL researchers made key findings:
• Heat Recovery Efficiency: Throughout testing, the LCS system recovered between 90 and 95 percent of the heat energy from the servers. This was achieved irrespective of the ambient air temperature surrounding the server and without insulation on the servers themselves. According to NREL, heat recovery efficiency is expected to improve further as more servers are added to the configuration.
• Ability to Heat Facility Water to a Useful Temperature: The LCS system was set up to heat NREL’s facility water from 75°F to 120°F, a temperature hot enough to be useful for building and hot water heating. This was achieved while maintaining all server electronics (CPUs, memory, etc.) well within normal operating temperatures, even under the most stressful workloads. It was also observed that the LiquidCool system should be capable of heating facility water to temperatures as high as 140°F while maintaining component temperatures within operating limits.
• Ease-of-use and Reliable Operation Confirmed: Through six months of testing in the TTF, the LCS system performed reliably with no issues that impacted the testing.
The results of the NREL tests also provide independent third-party validation of LCS’ claim of cooling power (power consumed by the Cooling Distribution Unit) to be between one and two percent of the IT equipment power.
NREL is developing a white paper outlining its Phase One results for the LSS testing.
In Phase Two testing, currently underway, the LSS system will be running operational workloads while heating reuse water to 120°F at DOE’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) data center also located on the NREL campus. Phase Two will be completed in Fall 2016.
“The successful completion of the first phase of testing for LiquidCool Solutions exemplifies the IN2 program mission and everything we are seeking to accomplish,” said Richard Adams, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at NREL. “In the case of LiquidCool, this is a unique and unusual technology that has utlilized NREL personnel and equipment for testing and advancement of the technology, to a point where certain milestones can be validated. Inclusion in IN2 has helped de-risk the technology and advanced it along its commercialization path.”
“We’ve always known that our immersive cooling technology would be disruptive in terms of how data centers operate because air cooling data centers never made sense,” said Herb Zien, CEO LiquidCool Solutions. “Being tested and validated by NREL opens the door for further development and adoption of our total immersion electronics cooling technology for large-scale data centers.”
The IN2 program advances the commercialization of new sustainable technologies by validating them in the lab and then piloting them in select Wells Fargo locations.
“We are really pleased to see how LCS has progressed through the IN2 program. Leveraging the resources at NREL is adding significant value to the further commercialization of this disruptive technology. As the world becomes even more digitized, we need to seek solutions that can cool data centers more efficiently and more sustainably,” said Ashley Grosh, VP, Environmental Affairs & IN2 Program Manager, Wells Fargo.
About LiquidCool Solutions
LiquidCool Solutions is a technology development firm with 27 issued and 13 pending patents surrounding cooling electronics by total immersion in a dielectric fluid. LCS technology can be used to cool electronics of any shape and size. LCS licenses its IP to OEMs looking for a cooling solution that saves energy, saves space, enhances reliability, operates silently, conserves water and can be surprisingly easy to maintain in the field. http://www.liquidcoolsolutions.com
Patti D. Hill