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Old 27th Feb 2013, 11:45   #1
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University of Leeds trials total immersion cooling

Iceotope system offers dramatic savings.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar.../27/iceotope/1
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 12:22   #2
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"Imagine having your PC or TV plumbed into the central heating system."
Yeah! instead of all that wasted heat energy being pushed out into my room, i could have it connected to my radiator to push the heat out into my room. Genius!
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 12:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken View Post
"Imagine having your PC or TV plumbed into the central heating system."
Yeah! instead of all that wasted heat energy being pushed out into my room, i could have it connected to my radiator to push the heat out into my room. Genius!
This is actually something I have thought about after noticing how warm the computer labs got when I was in college. Basically if there was a way to recover that heat and distribute it around the campus. The solution provided here looks good.

You are thinking on too small a scale, just your own computer in your own room. But if you have massive amounts of computers or a server farm, finding a way to recover the waste heat energy could save a lot money. In fact money is spent trying to keept these kinds of rooms cool. You obviously don't want an entire server farm just heating the building within which they are kept, you want it moved out of that building and heating other rooms such as offices, labs etc. This would be even better if there was a way to store the heat energy and then access it when required.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 12:58   #4
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"there is no reason why every home shouldn't make better use of the surplus heat from consumer electronics"

Iceotope are the ones thinking on the small scale. Large sure, consumer, lol good luck getting intelligent people to pay for zero energy gain.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:19   #5
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So basically, this is like using flurinert or whatever, connected to a heat exchanger, attached to a bong cooler ?
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:32   #6
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Nice idea... but unfeasible.

What do you do if a component expires? Take a whole rack offline pumping the coolant somewhere, waiting ages?
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:38   #7
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Originally Posted by law99 View Post
Nice idea... but unfeasible. What do you do if a component expires? Take a whole rack offline pumping the coolant somewhere, waiting ages?
They've considered that: each module is independent. If a component fails, you simply disconnect the module from the secondary cooling system and drain it of Novec, replace the component, refill and re-insert. Only that module is taken down; the rest of the cabinet continues as normal.

The exact same question was raised about the system unveiled last year with the same answer. Bear in mind this is a production system, following five years of development; Iceotope has thought through issues like that.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:40   #8
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So we all go cloud computing and pay our heating-bills to the server farm-holders instead?
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:43   #9
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Ok. Well that adds up.

I'd like to see that... surely pretty over engineered. How does routing cables between modules work? I guess you plug into the module, and the module has an external interface and internal interface to act as a go between for ethernet and fibre connections?

Edit: Air-con can be really expensive, and can still fail and require redundancy. So I can see many appeals. Although I wonder about the redundancy here... extra pumps easy enough, sure... but you'd need redundant plumbing also... also easy enough... but potentially expensive
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:46   #10
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I'd like to see that... surely pretty over engineered. How does routing cables between modules work? I guess you plug into the module, and the module has an external interface and internal interface to act as a go between for ethernet and fibre connections?
Each module is an independent server. Power goes in, data comes out - exactly the same as any other server. While I don't have any pictures of Iceotope's modules to hand beyond the small image in the article, if you imagine something between Intel's Modular Server and a blade server you'll not be far wrong.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 13:56   #11
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Each module is an independent server. Power goes in, data comes out - exactly the same as any other server. While I don't have any pictures of Iceotope's modules to hand beyond the small image in the article, if you imagine something between Intel's Modular Server and a blade server you'll not be far wrong.
Ok... so each server is independent entirely and I presume of Iceotope's own design although using standard hardware. (Their own case so to speak that can plug into their cooling system / proprietary rack.)

I did vaguely remember reading the article you link to above.

Pretty cool. Loads of potential though. Here for instance, it's cold in the winter in the office and the aircon is always being fixed, so plumbing in radiators on the cold months and switching over to another loop in the summer that goes under the building or anywhere out of direct sunlight.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 15:41   #12
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A colleague of mine used to work in an office where the waste heat from the universities servers was pumped into the building to cut down on the heating, they apparently sat with the windows open all year it was so warm.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 15:58   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
Edit: Air-con can be really expensive, and can still fail and require redundancy. So I can see many appeals. Although I wonder about the redundancy here... extra pumps easy enough, sure... but you'd need redundant plumbing also... also easy enough... but potentially expensive
These will most likely be connected to both some free air cooler(s) and traditional air-con units. The free air coolers are like giant radiators with a couple of big fans on top and use little electricity to cool the coolant down, the only draw back is that they only work in a fixed thermal window. Too cold or too hot and they have to run the coolant via the traditional aircon units.

We had one in my previous employers recent DC. They are pretty cool bits of kit. From memory there was never a single failure in the 2.5 years I was working from that site and I'm not sure if there have been any in the 14 months since I left either.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 19:44   #14
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Have you ever thought about the MESS this makes when you have to service one of those immersed servers? Or what happens to HDDs if you immerse them into liquid?
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 20:29   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken View Post
"Imagine having your PC or TV plumbed into the central heating system."
Yeah! instead of all that wasted heat energy being pushed out into my room, i could have it connected to my radiator to push the heat out into my room. Genius!
This is actually something I have thought about after noticing how warm the computer labs got when I was in college. Basically if there was a way to recover that heat and distribute it around the campus. The solution provided here looks good.

You are thinking on too small a scale, just your own computer in your own room. But if you have massive amounts of computers or a server farm, finding a way to recover the waste heat energy could save a lot money. In fact money is spent trying to keept these kinds of rooms cool. You obviously don't want an entire server farm just heating the building within which they are kept, you want it moved out of that building and heating other rooms such as offices, labs etc. This would be even better if there was a way to store the heat energy and then access it when required.


Heat recovery ventilation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_recovery_ventilation

Just pipe the heat to where its needed
Will eventually be used in all new homes
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 23:19   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koaschten View Post
Have you ever thought about the MESS this makes when you have to service one of those immersed servers? Or what happens to HDDs if you immerse them into liquid?
The HDD's would have to be in a separate rack as they don't run full of fluid.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 07:16   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001 View Post
This is actually something I have thought about after noticing how warm the computer labs got when I was in college. Basically if there was a way to recover that heat and distribute it around the campus. The solution provided here looks good.

You are thinking on too small a scale, just your own computer in your own room. But if you have massive amounts of computers or a server farm, finding a way to recover the waste heat energy could save a lot money. In fact money is spent trying to keept these kinds of rooms cool. You obviously don't want an entire server farm just heating the building within which they are kept, you want it moved out of that building and heating other rooms such as offices, labs etc. This would be even better if there was a way to store the heat energy and then access it when required.
to be fair, building designers already take into account the number of computers when they design heat/AC systems. In the winter a significant portion of the heat for a building can come from a server farm.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 15:21   #18
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We have Novac in stock here and its 170 a ltr for the best stuff they make and 120 for the cheapest stuff they have. And it isn't that good. Its all so in no way as good at removing heat as there older fluids and still no ware near as good as water no matter what leeds uni say.
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