Iceotope touts super liquid cooling for data centres

News 6 Mar, 2012

Using 3M’s Novec coolant, the company claims it can cut cooling costs to zero.

Iceotope today announced a new technique of cooling servers, which it claims can make fans redundant and cooling costs non-existent.

The launch happened at this year’s CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, with the company also saying the solution cuts 75 per cent of the mechanical costs associated with cooling servers.

Cost savings on the maintaining side might be plentiful, but the set-up price is no drop in the ocean

The product uses 3M’s Novec liquid as a coolant, which Peter Hopton, founder and chief technology officer (CTO) of Iceotope, called the “environmentally friendly little brother” of Fluoroinert – 3M’s previous coolant incarnation.

A water jacket containing Novec wraps around components and travels through the servers in fast currents at a rate of centimetres per second. With its low surface tension, the coolant “gets into all the cracks” to absorb the heat from servers and take it away to heat exchanges, where the liquid can either be cooled or used to heat other buildings and water within the complex.

The technology can not be incorporated into existing servers, however, and businesses would have to buy new servers – or modules as Iceotope refers to them – to install the technology.

Cost savings on the maintaining side might be plentiful, but the set-up price is no drop in the ocean.

Customers can buy cabinets, featuring six server modules – which look like blades – as well as the pump and heat exchanges, for £19,995. However, the cabinets can house up to 48 modules, which start at £3,995 for fully configured servers containing two six core Xeon E5 processors, 64GB RAM, 40Gb Infiniband and SSD storage. Users are able to choose between AMD and Intel processors.

Hopton told IT Pro the technology could soon roll-out across the data centre, with products for switches, routers and GPUs in the pipeline. He defended the upfront prices though, saying the overall benefits would save a lot more money in the long term.

“No chiller equipment is needed so when you are kitting out a new data centre, you don’t need to buy it,” he said.

“It is not massively expensive and if you need new servers… it is cost effective when you start to look at the money saved on energy consumption.”

Although he couldn’t confirm any UK customers yet, Hopton did say it was being implemented within UK data centres and the test company would be revealed soon.