Le refroidissement par submersion: une solution pour le secteur des technologies de l'information ?

Compte tenu de l'explosion du secteur des centres de données au rythme de 12% par an, les économies d'énergie sont devenues essentielles et de nouvelles options sont étudiées telles que le froid naturel, l'accumulation d'énergie thermique et différentes formes de refroidissement liquide, dont le refroidissement par submersion.
With the data centre industry growing by 12% annually, saving energy required for cooling is becoming a crucial issue and new options are being explored such as free-cooling, thermal energy storage or various means of liquid cooling, including submersion cooling.

A prototype supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology was submerged in a tank of mineral oil. Described as the most energy efficient machine of its kind in the Green500 an industry ranking, it is 50% more powerful than an older supercomputer while consuming the same amount of energy.

Using oil or other liquids to cool supercomputers and power servers is not limited to Japan. Of course water can be piped through the facilities or the machines, but submerging the devices in liquid is still very rare.
Iceotope, a start-up based in Sheffield, UK submerges computers in liquid fluoroplastic and a cooling-system design company called Allied Control in Honk Kong uses submersion technology in a recently opened data centre. Peter Hopton, CE for Iceotope, believes data centres could cut their energy bills in half thanks to this technology.

The Academics from the Tokyo institute are currently testing whether such a system can operate even when the oil warms up to summertime temperatures of 35°C.
They believe that this might be possible thanks to modern semiconductors that can operate at higher temperatures than their forerunners.

Source: New York Times, February 11, 2014