Busting 4 Common Myths About Immersion Cooling

Benefits of Immersion Cooling for Data Centers

The growth potential for IT infrastructure around the world is expanding. Naturally, data centers everywhere have started investigating new opportunities to overcome limiting challenges, allowing them to scale and grow at the pace of new demand. 

One of those challenges is keeping servers at the right temperature. Cooling more and more powerful server infrastructure is no easy task, and the limitations of conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) options may be holding back the potential of high-performance computing and ultra-high-density server racks, including rapidly evolving artificial intelligence and machine learning applications.

Enter immersion cooling, an application in which all computer components are submerged in non-conducting, dielectric fluids. The adoption of a new technology comes with questions. Some of the key considerations include the fluid itself, thermal performance, material compatibility, fluid durability, sustainability and energy management, regulatory compliance, safety, scalability and cost. But the truth is that immersion cooling offers a range of benefits—and it’s worth thorough consideration for data centers everywhere.

Don’t know enough about immersion cooling? We’re here to set the record straight on exactly how and why switching to immersion cooling represents a safe investment for your data center operations that will improve power usage and efficiency and help future-proof your operations. Let’s examine some common myths about inversion cooling, and why they are just that: myths.


Myth #1: Air cooling is good enough

Fact: It’s true that air-cooling methods may remain effective for the needs of today’s processing power demands. But as those demands increase, and as more powerful servers generate more heat, air cooling will no longer be sufficient. As ASHRAE noted in a recent white paper: “At some point, air-cooled devices will reach their limits—either through physics limitations or exponential increases in cooling power consumed—and the manufacturers will need to adjust designs to accommodate liquid cooling.”

Making these kinds of forward-looking investments now is important. Consider: If a new data center today invests in traditional air-cooling infrastructure, it may not be able to keep pace with processing demands in the near future.

Myth #2: Immersion cooling systems are too complicated to operate and maintain

Fact: For the unfamiliar, immersion cooling does raise some natural questions. How will cabling fare within a dielectric fluid environment? Is there potential for scum to form on equipment and wiring? How will regular service maintenance checks be performed? Will special equipment be required to remove computing equipment for inspection and repairToday’s data center operators need to do more with less—less energy, physical space, downtime, and consideration of the environmental impact. Immersion cooling presents the market with a practical long-term solution to overcome the heat issues that plague modern-day data centers.

When you work with an established partner who can deliver a complete system solution for your immersion cooling needs, these questions answer themselves. The right partner can work with all stakeholders to establish best practices for fluid management throughout the value chain. They will be able to advise on fluid drain interval, disposal oversight, and ongoing maintenance strategies—helping you optimize your health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) commitment while growing your business. 

Myth #3: Immersion cooling is too expensive.

Fact: Though there are upfront capital costs required for installing any significant upgrade to your data center, immersion cooling has the potential to deliver significant return on investment.

Not only do high-performance immersion cooling system fluids offer best-in-class material compatibility, durability and dependable thermal performance to enable increased computing density, but they also address growth barriers posed by conventional cooling methods. Specifically, these next-generation fluids can help data centers:

Reduce cooling costs by 30-plus percent
Achieve better power usage effectiveness (PUE)
Maximize mean time between failures (MTBF)
Extend the serviceable life of hardware

Taken cumulatively, these can deliver major bottom-line benefits and contribute to lower total cost of ownership, enabling data centers to continue scaling their operations as demand for computing power increases.

Myth #4: Choosing the right fluid for my application is difficult.

Fact: The key to getting the most from your immersion cooling applications is to utilize fluids that have been designed and developed specifically for your needs. Because while some available immersion cooling options are “one-size-fits-all,” there’s no need to settle when you work with the right supplier.

Ideally, your immersion cooling partner should be able to tailor your fluid, offering balanced properties and better material compatibility to meet the unique needs of data center facilities and their equipment. And as power demands increase, properly engineered immersion cooling formulations can help extend the life expectancy of their hardware.

Interested in learning more?

CompuZol™ immersion cooling fluid solutions from Lubrizol can deliver thermal management performance that enables increased computing density and lower total cost of ownership, all backed by our extensive expertise and decades of experience in engineering and chemistry. Contact your Lubrizol representative to find out how CompuZol can transform your data center operations today. Contact your Lubrizol representative to find out how CompuZol can transform your data center operations today.

Learn more about immersion cooling solutions from Lubrizol