How Liquid Immersion Cooling Benefits Sustainability
The green immersion system is an innovative immersion cooling solution that is helping technology and crypto mining companies realize their sustainability goals. Mining farms are known for their notoriously high power consumption levels, and data centers are no different. In 2020, the data center industry was reported to consume about 196-400 terra watt hours of power. Notably, a significant proportion of the power goes to waste as heat. For instance, about 40% of the total energy consumption in an average data center goes to powering conventional cooling infrastructure.
That said, a more efficient cooling system is desirable to help accelerate data centers and IT companies towards sustainability goals.
What is Immersion Cooling, and How Does It Work?
Immersion cooling is the reduction of heat emitted by servers, CPUs, GPUs, or other IT components by submersing them in a special dielectric fluid that is thermally conductive. It is a well-proven technology used in different industries today, especially where there are high-power computers and EV battery packs. Notably, the idea has been around for over a decade, although it did not go mainstream until the energy-intensive crypto mining.
Crypto mining in data centers and mining farms consume large amounts of electricity. In 2019, the BBC reported that Bitcoin’s energy consumption is equivalent to Switzerland’s. The energy use got worse in 2021 and 2022, the worst part being that much energy is wasted as heat. The more power the mining rigs use, the hotter they get, and more power is needed to cool them.
Green immersion systems provide mining farms a more efficient, practical, and sustainable alternative than air cooling. How immersion cooling works depends on the approach to it, and basically, there are two types of these sustainable immersion systems.
Single-Phase Immersion Cooling
The mining rigs or servers are installed vertically into the coolant bath in the single-phase immersion cooling systems. The coolant bath is usually a hydrocarbon dielectric liquid, similar to mineral oil. The heat emitted by the servers is transferred to the coolant liquid through direct contact. However, unlike what happens in a two-phase immersion cooling system, the coolant never boils off. It remains in the same liquid state, which is why it’s a single-phase cooling system. The liquid is then cooled in a heat exchanger unit.
The single-phase immersion cooling system provides data centers with a simplicity that translates to more effortless operation, less maintenance, and upfront affordability, even for small data centers.
Two-Phase Immersion Cooling
The two-phase immersion cooling system uses a specially engineered fluorocarbon-based dielectric fluid. The mining rigs are immersed and sealed inside the bath, which typically has a low boiling point. As such, the fluid quickly boils from the heat emanating from the mining rigs. The fluid changes from liquid to gas upon boiling, which brings about the idea of a ‘two-phase’ immersion cooling system.
The dielectric vapor is then condensed back to the fluid form in water-cooled condenser coils integrated at the top of the system’s sealed racks. The condensed liquid then rains back into the sealed chamber to be recycled.
The Benefits of Liquid Immersion Cooling for Mining Farms and Data Centers
Data centers invest heavily in cooling systems, and all of them desire a sustainable immersion system that does more for less. Many still use conventional air cooling systems, although others like EZ Blockchain have made a breakthrough in liquid immersion technology.
Liquid immersion cooling systems, commonly known as green immersion systems, are more high-tech and efficient than air cooling systems and can meet the rising cooling demands in data centers. The special immersion fluids dissipate heat much faster than air, and their benefits stretch beyond just cooling data centers.
Immersion Cooling Prolongs Equipment Lifespan
Data centers comprise a collection of networked computer servers that organizations use for different purposes. They could be for remote storage, processing, or even crypto mining. It’s an entire infrastructure of servers, racks, network connections, monitoring, and storage infrastructure, among others. Every data center struggles to have all its essential components in perfect working condition for maximum efficiency and life cycle.
However, the endeavor is not forthcoming with the overheating that comes with this equipment, vibration, corrosion, and dust. Equipment tends to break down, causing expensive repairs and replacements and downtimes that undermine the overall output.
With immersion cooling, data centers can minimize some of these problems and ultimately prolong their equipment life cycle. The immersion cooling system, single or double-phase, is efficient in cooling the servers and thus eliminates overheating problems. Additionally, servers are not exposed to external contaminants like dust and corrosive materials. That way, the mean time before failures is prolonged, and the equipment lifespan is boosted altogether.
Green Immersion Systems Minimize Noise in Data Centers
Data centers rely on thousands of high-power processors for the maximum output. The powerful processors require large amounts of electricity, and overheating is a common problem. In traditional air cooling systems, the cooling fans need to run at maximum speeds to cool the servers, which get pretty loud. According to research reports, the average noise level around data center servers is about 92 dB(A), which can reach up to 96 dB (A) within the server racks. The noise can be quite a nuisance with the servers running day and night.
However, liquid immersion cooling eliminates the noise problem. Even the most prominent crypto mining farms can mine cryptocurrency around residential estates. Immersion cooling eliminates the need for cooling fans which are essentially the leading cause of the noise. Also, the immersion bath protects the miners against dust accumulation which can strain the equipment and cause them to produce some noise.
Immersion Cooling Helps to Minimize Space
The size of data centers can range from a standard 100-square-foot data center to a 400,000-square-foot facility. The data centers are filled with thousands of cabinets that hold millions of servers and a large number of sizeable cooling fans. Notably, data centers can minimize this space by switching to immersion cooling. The cooling technology allows more servers or miners to fit into smaller spaces where they can be cooled together in the dielectric coolant.
Liquid Immersion Cooling Helps Reduce Power Consumption
Whether it’s in an ordinary data center or a dedicated crypto mining facility, liquid immersion cooling can help reduce power consumption. Ideally, all these facilities use similar equipment that emits large amounts of heat. ASIC miners, for instance, release tremendous amounts of heat that, if left unattended with an efficient cooling system, can damage the hardware or result in a fire hazard.
In that regard, data centers rely on fans running at top speeds to deliver the best possible cooling. However, this means more power is needed to keep the fans running beside the power already consumed by the miners. With immersion cooling systems, data centers can achieve a high level of efficiency in power consumption. Past studies suggest miners can save up to 50% of their energy costs by switching to immersion cooling. Miners no longer need the energy-draining fans, which translates to a lower power bill.
Immersion Cooling Contributes to Sustainability
Green immersion systems provide data centers and mining farms with many advantages, chief of them realizing sustainability goals. First, it helps reduce power consumption, which means less exploitation of fossil fuels, the primary energy source. With less fossil fuel energy, the overall carbon footprint is reduced.
According to an article by the European Environment Agency, noise pollution is both human health and an environmental hazard. Mining farms are a considerable source of noise, and Bitcoin mining noise has been reported to drive people nuts in neighborhoods where it happens. However, with immersion cooling, no more noise from the fans, so both humans and the environment are safe.
Finally, a sustainable immersion system helps to improve equipment life span. The server components are not prone to overheat, dust, or corrosion. They operate with maximum efficiency, meaning there are fewer breakdowns or replacements. As such, there are fewer waste materials from data centers and mining farms which is a giant leap toward sustainability.
Although an immersion cooling system’s initial cost can be higher than conventional air cooling systems, it is worth it in the long run. Immersion cooling systems provide a range of benefits that stretch beyond the cost factor. The world is more concerned with environmental sustainability than ever, and an innovation that provides a solution to that end is indispensable.
EZ Blockchain is one of the earliest tech companies providing innovative solutions for data centers and crypto mining farms. At EZ Blockchain, we provide a cutting-edge immersion cooling solution that guarantees longer equipment lifespan, reduced heat and noise from miners, and a higher hash rate for your mining rigs.
Using innovative solutions, the company intends to breach the gap between cryptocurrency mining activities and environmental sustainability goals.