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Three Benefits of Direct Liquid Cooling

10/19/2023

Alongside ongoing technology advancements, the need to meet high-performance demands is growing faster than ever. This is especially true for data centers that require efficient processing and high-performance computing (HPC). 

But with those high-performance demands come high power demands—and more heat. And with more heat comes the need for effective, efficient cooling strategies. However, many traditional data center air cooling systems are no longer sufficient for those high-performance demands, requiring operators to seek out more modern, innovative cooling methods. 

That’s where Direct Liquid Cooling comes in. 

What is Direct Liquid Cooling? 

Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) is a modern cooling system designed to manage the temperatures of IT equipment, preventing overheating and improving energy consumption in high-power, high-performance data centers. 

Contrary to traditional air cooling strategies, DLC uses liquid coolant pumped through a piping system to absorb heat generated by IT equipment through convection. Once heated, that liquid solution flows through a heat exchanger to cool it before it recirculates to the equipment. 

More specifically, DLC plays a significant role in regulating the temperature of chipsets, a vital part of data centers that must work within a specific temperature range.

Research suggests that, when used in conjunction with air cooling systems, DLC improves power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy consumption in high-density data centers. As a result, many data center providers, like Involta, have chosen to implement modern DLC methods to supplement—or even replace—traditional air cooling systems. 

Benefits of Direct Liquid Cooling

The global DLC market is projected to increase from $2 billion in 2022 to over $6 billion by 2027. 

This growth in popularity is occurring for good reasons—energy efficiency, ease of use, and cost savings, to name a few.

1. Energy efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, DLC is a no-brainer. In fact, it is anywhere between 50 to 1,000 times more efficient than traditional air cooling.

And with more precise cooling capabilities, DLC tends to use less water than air cooling systems, resulting in higher energy efficiency and lower operating costs. As an added benefit, this allows technology companies to better meet ESG (environmental, social, and governance) commitments.

2. Ease of use

Not only does DLC make less noise and take up less space compared to traditional air cooling systems, but its compatibility with existing data center rack infrastructure makes for simplified installation. 

For those just starting on a DLC implementation journey, there’s no need to dive right into the deep end. Starting out with a hybrid air/liquid cooling strategy will allow operators to keep the system they’re familiar with while also exploring the benefits of energy-efficient liquid cooling. A soft start or slow ramp-up allows companies to evaluate the benefits and learn the system with minimal operational disruptions.

3. Cost savings

No evaluation of a new system is complete without exploring the costs. How will DLC fit into a data center’s operational budget? DLC may have a higher installation cost than air cooling systems, but that initial cost will turn out to be well worth the investment.

As demand for HPC workloads grows, power demands will increase concurrently. With DLC systems in place to efficiently regulate equipment tempers, data center operators will reap the benefits of decreased operating costs over time while also enabling HPC. 

Plus, data centers that use DLC won’t need to invest nearly as much into hearing devices designed to protect against the loud noises of air cooling. 

Transforming worlds through technology

Technology is advancing quickly, and new ideas and methods are always being developed. Involta strives to remain at the forefront of these new strategies and innovations—like DLC—to help our clients operate more efficiently and transform their worlds through technology. 

Learn more about the inner workings of DLC and the benefits it brings to data centers and enterprises in our DLC whitepaper: The Ultimate Guide for Data Centers.

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