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Microsoft Servers Dunked in Boiling Fluids to Cool Them

For years, Microsoft has played around with the various ways to Cool its data center. In the past, the company has cooled the offshore data by using seawater through its Project Natick. Currently, it is showing off the two-phase liquid cooling solution, which it claims to have even higher Servers densities.

The new system uses a non-conductive cooling fluid, although it is not precisely identified. The fluid sounds similar to the 3M’s Novec 1230 with a shallow boiling point around 122F. A vapor cloud is created by boiling off the coolant, which raises and contacts the cooled condenser at the tank lid top. When the liquid rains back down into the closed-loop server chassis, this process resupplies the system with freshly cooled coolant.

Heat is transferred from the server tank into a dryer cooler outside the enclosure and dissipated there. Due to the direct contact with a non-conducting fluid, immersion cooling works. The contact offers a far better thermal dissipation than a conventional air cooler. A principal hardware engineer on Microsoft team for advanced datacenter development in Redmond, Washington, Husam Alissa, said, “We are the first cloud provider that is running two-phase immersion cooling in a production environment.”

The growth of immersion cooling as a good thing is depicted in the blog post by Microsoft. It highlights the fact that it can reduce server power consumption by 5%-15%. The company says that running immersion cooling allows directing burst workloads to those specific servers. It can also overclock them to serve requests quickly.

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