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Small Startup Prevails In Server Cooling 'Chill Off' 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the cool-as-ice dept.
miller60 writes "A small startup has shown exceptional energy efficiency in a data center 'chill off' comparing server cooling technologies. Clustered Systems posted the best numbers in the 18-month vendor evaluation sponsored by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The Menlo Park, Calif. company built a prototype server that uses no fans and cools processors with a cold plate with tubing filled with liquid coolant. The testing accidentally highlighted the opportunity for additional energy savings, when the Clustered Systems unit continued to operate during a cooling failure that raised the chiller plant water temperature from 44 to 78 degrees F."
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Small Startup Prevails In Server Cooling 'Chill Off'

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  • Ambient noise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rcw-home (122017) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @05:20PM (#33926362)

    I'm pretty impressed by how quiet their demo rack is - it'd be a challenge to get a good audio recording of a conversation right next to a full rack of air-cooled 1U servers - it's frustrating using a cell phone in most server rooms, just because of the fan noise. 1U systems are the worst simply because the form factor requires a large number of tiny fans running at high speed.

    Even if there's some serious impracticalities with their approach, eliminating that fan noise is a huge selling point.

  • Cost (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markbao (1923284) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @05:44PM (#33926498)
    The world is no stranger to liquid-cooling in computers, but this is pretty impressive. Does anyone have any numbers on how much traditional cooling costs compared to estimated costs from this company?
  • False inferences. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Richy_T (111409) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:13PM (#33926628) Homepage

    The testing accidentally highlighted the opportunity for additional energy savings, when the Clustered Systems unit continued to operate during a cooling failure that raised the chiller plant water temperature from 44 to 78 degrees F.

    Nonsense. I've seen equipment continue to function during AC failures with very high temperatures. It's how much the lifetime of the equipment is reduced during those failures that's the real test. Not unusual to see higher levels of hard drive failures months after the event.

  • Re:Imagine... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CarpetShark (865376) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:14PM (#33926634)

    I think the appropriate expression is "Imagine having a truckload of shares in these guys, when google buys them out."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:41PM (#33926788)

    actually most of them on modern aircraft are cooled with jet fuel.

  • by bananaendian (928499) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @06:55PM (#33926888) Homepage Journal

    actually most of them on modern aircraft are cooled with jet fuel.

    Wrong. You are confusing jet engine components which are cooled with the fuel. Avionics racks are sometimes cooled with bleed air from the engine (no, not the exhaust, the other side).

  • by roguer (760556) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @07:23PM (#33927102)

    Seymour ran refrigerant (fleurinert?) through coldplates on all his designs (and their descendants) up through the Cray-2. I am told that he used to call himself "the best refrigerator repair man in the industry". His downfall came when he abandoned coldplates for the full refrigerant emmersion that gave the Cray-2 its distinctive "aquarium" look. Unfortunately, in later designs he had to run refrigerant across the emmersed boards so fast that it actually caused friction corrosion.

    But, yeah, you have a point. Coldplates are old hat in the supercomputing industry. BTW, RISC is too. We used to joke that it stood for "Really Invented by Seymour Cray".

  • by shougyin (1920460) on Sunday October 17, 2010 @07:34PM (#33927174)
    Yes, but only for fixed wing aircraft, with most of the helicopters having their own separate air intake which is filtered. However, the new designs are still causing heating problems. I think the engineers only real concern is that a component won't overheat and fry itself, because the air isn't filtered outside of the closet very well. I would still like to see any of this come into Military Aviation, but i doubt that will be for a long long time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2010 @08:53PM (#33927820)

    No, I'm not. I actually fly some of them, and our avionics are cooled by cold plates with jet fuel running through them. Think about aircraft built this century, not last century, with very dense avionics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @07:59AM (#33930990)

    Why is it a joke? It used to be called Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group because it represented manufacturers. Now those same manufacturers are primarily designers who offshore their manufacturing, so they changed the name of the lobbying group. The group still represents a number of very powerful and successful firms, I fail to see how they are "a joke".

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