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Bringing water down to the server level to gain efficiencies in cooling often comes up in conversations around data center energy efficiency and future technologies. Is that an ongoing discussion or has the conversation moved more to other areas, like free cooling?
Water can be brought down to the server and still use free cooling. The water used down at the server level is typically contained with a water loop where the heat generated by the server is conveyed to a water to water heat exchanger. This heat exchanger can then be used to exchange the heat from the server to a water loop that can then be connected to the outside environment through a dry cooler.
ASHRAE recently published 5 categories of supply water temperatures for servers. Several of these classes were created with the intent of exchanging heat with the environment without the use of mechanical cooling thereby employing free cooling. Already server products are being produced that use these higher supply water temperatures.
Answers provided by Brad Brech, IBM representative and Board Member of The Green Grid
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