DCN August 2017 - Page 25

Cooling concerning the need to cool data centres and the waste heat generated in the process is significant, but there appears little enthusiasm for tackling the problem. In most cases, the waste heat is ejected from the data centre into the atmosphere, which is not particularly environmentally friendly. system, the heat can be captured and used rather than blown out of the building. Liquid cooling systems can help to heat a building, a swimming pool or even to provide hot water for showers. It might be possible, for example, to house a data centre in a basement below a hotel and use the excess heat to provide heat to the whole hotel. So much hot air Accelerating momentum As with combustion engine cars, air cooled data centres are likely to hit their own limitations in the face of increased power costs and surging cooling requirements. One potential solution would be to use liquid cooling. There are several different approaches, such as immersing the equipment in a non-conductive liquid (dielectric) or using water with a heat exchanger to cool certain components (non-dielectric), particularly microprocessors. Like electric cars, liquid cooling has been touted as a solution to the problems associated with air-cooling of data centres for several years, but there has been a reluctance to promote it or adopt it. And it’s nothing new. Water cooling, for example, was used for mainframes as far back as the 1970s. The future is liquid possibly to the point of science fiction, but the adoption of electric car technology made sense. Proof is provided by the fact so many other car manufacturers are expected to follow them into the electric car market over the next two to three years. Data centre cooling finds itself in a similar situation. The need for in