UII UPDATE 222 | Q4 2023
Intelligence Update

Performance expectations of liquid cooling need a reality check

The idea of using liquids to cool IT hardware, exemplified by technologies such as cold plates and immersion cooling, is frequently hailed as the ultimate solution to the data center’s energy efficiency and sustainability challenges. If a data center replaces air cooling with direct liquid cooling (DLC), chilled water systems can operate at higher supply and return water temperatures, which are favorable for both year-round free cooling and waste heat recovery.

Indeed, there are some larger DLC system installations that use only dry coolers for heat rejection, and a few installations are integrated into heat reuse schemes. As supply chains remain strained and regulatory environments tighten, the attraction of leaner and more efficient data center infrastructure will only grow.

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