Emerson Network Power unveiled a targeted cooling system called Liebert XDS that aims to help data center operators keep energy costs low by combating hotspots right in the rack. Liebert XDS brings cold plate server cooling tech from rack-cooling specialist Clustered Systems to industry standard server racks. The cooling plates work their temperature-lowering magic in conjunction with a Liebert XDP refrigerant pumping unit. Here’s how it works:
Heat generated by the server is transferred through heat risers to the server housing, then through the thermal interface material lining the cover, and finally transferred to a cooling plate, which uses refrigerant-filled microchannel tubing to absorb the heat, eliminating the need to expel air from the rack and into the data center. The system cools a full range of rack capacities up to 40 kW and saves a projected 80 percent over room-based cooling system costs.
Eighty percent?! Even if that estimate falls on the optimistic side, Clustered Systems’ cooling plate tech did win acclaim during Chill Off 2. Plus, the advantages are hard to ignore. Cooling an entire room to cool servers is starting to fall out of favor with data center operators since it takes hefty HVAC equipment, not to mention a lot of power, to keep warehouse-like volumes of air within server-friendly temperature ranges. Hot/cold air aisles are gaining popularity, but Emerson’s Liebert XDS is the latest in a trend to bring cooling even closer to the heat-emitting components — in this case the servers themselves.
Like liquid cooling setups, some server modifications are required. For starters, the heatsinks are replaced with heat risers that channel heat away from the motherboard. Additionally, server fans are removed, eliminating the need to keep them powered and a good amount of noise to boot.