Submerging computers completely in a cooler isn’t a particularly new idea. Such concepts have been used over and over again in the past, but not to the extent that Microsoft intends to do it now. It was more about individual systems or smaller groups of boards. The latter is more popular with encoders who want to cool a number of graphics cards efficiently.
Microsoft is experimenting with dipping entire shelves in fluorocarbon liquid, according to US magazine The Verge. This is not conductive and comes in direct contact with all components to be cooled. The average boiling temperature is only 50 degrees Celsius, which makes it look a bit like computers are constantly standing in boiling water. Fluorocarbon vapor condenses again on a cooler outer wall and rains again in the cooling pool, so that a closed circuit here is obtained.
A server in the radiator
Energy saving and reduced wear
The process makes it a little more complicated when a component needs to be replaced quickly. In such cases, classic air cooling is easier. However, the tried and tested method offers enormous advantages in other areas. Cooling is more efficient and energy saving compared to traditional methods. Additionally, there is the fact that the server components are no longer in contact with reactive oxygen in the air. This results in significantly less wear and wear to the server components.
Microsoft is currently testing the process in a smaller data center in the USA. The results so far have been very positive, however, reefer containers, where rows of shelves are flooded, will soon also be found in many large data centers. Here they should be used mainly for computational intensive tasks such as AI training.