Google transitions from air conditioners to liquid cooling — saves $1B?!

Recently, CBS News got a tour of a lifetime. A tour of one of Google’s high security data centers in North Carolina (see full article here). What really struck us about the article was this paragraph on liquid cooling:

“In that effort to reach full energy efficiency, Google has replaced the air conditioners with a water-based cooling system. They’ve also taken simple measures to yield big energy savings — like raising the temperature on the server floor from 68 degrees to 80 degrees. Holzle said the company saved over $1 billion “through these efficiency measures.””

Cold-Front Heat Transfer Door

Heat-Transfer Doors use liquid to neutralize heat at the source.

Although liquid cooling was only one of the changes they implemented, a billion dollars is a significant amount of money. Liquid cooling may not not save you a billion dollars, but it actually is a great way to cut power and cooling costs. IBM has been using this method to cool their data center for years.

Liquid cooling systems are air conditioners that use a liquid to dissipate heat. That may be cold water or refrigerant, but the difference is that the liquid is closer to the heat source, resulting in even more efficient cooling. Today’s modular liquid cooling systems are ideal for spot cooling applications, for instance, cooling individual high-density cabinets. Passive liquid cooling doesn’t require raised floors or hot/cold aisle configurations. Why expend the energy to cool an entire room when you can cool just the one cabinet that needs additional cooling?

For more resources on liquid cooling, check out our:

White Paper: Extending the Life of Your Data Center

Blog Post: Efficient Cooling in the Data Center

ColdFront: Passive liquid cooling for your data center


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