The heat is on in the data center industry as engineers and managers develop and operate increasingly powerful information technology equipment and the estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day.
Such exponential growth has obvious pluses for data centers. But it also presents new challenges, not the least of which is dealing with the soaring temperatures all of the new technologies and processes generate.
Long considered the best choice for data centers’ thermal management, traditional air-based cooling systems are falling behind in the effort to keep data centers operating efficiently. Air-cooled data centers face rising energy costs as they labor to sustain optimum operating temperatures as power demands increase. Air-cooled centers also face the reality of constraints in how much more expansion they can sustain in their existing infrastructure.
For these reasons, an increasing number of data center managers are looking toward liquid cooling. Formerly considered a risky choice by those who feared the prospects of water contacting electronics, liquid cooling is fast gaining converts among those whose responsibilities include efficient, effective thermal management.
Quick connect couplings are essential in the liquid cooling systems for electronics, data center rackable systems, servers, and supercomputers.
Connectors are critical parts of the performance of liquid cooling. The fact liquid cooling is no longer viewed as a no-no in data centers can be attributed to the high level of design, engineering, and manufacturing control directed to the necessary hardware.
Reliable connectors deliver peace of mind to data center managers. Dripless couplings’ advanced internal design and robust functionality that non-spill valving means no spills occur during connecting and disconnecting. Flat-sealing, flush-face designs prevent fluid loss, thus ensuring high levels of performance with a broad range of liquids in a variety of application environments.
Engineers and facility managers who are faced with the necessity of improving their data centers’ thermal management can take steps to ensure their worries will be minimized. Liquid cooling system manufacturers and installers can specify high-quality dripless connectors in their systems to guarantee peak performance over the long life of their systems.
The need for enhanced thermal management is not expected to decline or even plateau. Highly demanding industries, the blistering pace of technology advancements, and the increasing use of multi-core chips are forcing data centers to deal with hotter temperatures. What’s more, airflow through data centers is increasingly hindered as dense new arrays of equipment are added.
Gone are the days when data centers could just turn up the air conditioning and add more fans. Those steps cannot keep up with the heat generated by the increasing number of chips operating at soaring levels of storage and processing.
Even though leaks are fast becoming yesteryear’s problem, some managers still fear the prospects of liquid cooling, largely because of misperceptions. But facts clearly show little to no reason to worry about liquids escaping in the data center. A more confounding worry actually is the fact that inefficient cooling systems cut into data centers’ profits.
Progressive engineers and facilities managers recognize liquid cooling as a technology enabler. Liquid cooling broadens the opportunities for data centers determined to add power and equipment. As the risk of leaks decline, so are the costs in liquid cooling.
Reliability, of course, cannot be taken for granted. Datacenter managers should consult with their designers and engineers involved in the manufacturing of liquid cooling systems to learn the performance attributes and test results of critical parts and assemblies. As more information becomes available about liquid cooling systems’ benefits and performance, especially in the area of mitigating risks associated with leaking liquids, smart decisions are easier to make.
Managers can gain confidence in their liquid-cooling system’s couplings by demanding they feature a flush-face valve design to prevent fluid loss. In addition, couplings should reduce pressure drops, resist vibrations and rotation, and accommodate a broad selection of sealing materials across a range of temperatures.
For the critical needs of data centers, compromise is not an option. Smart investments in reliable components like universal dripless connectors will pay big dividends in the near term and over the long haul.
Today the industry is benefiting from the development and implementation of liquid cooling systems that meet data centers’ needs and set them up for opportunities to add computing capacity to drive their growth and earnings. More and more decision-makers today understand and appreciate the wisdom of smart hardware investments that reduce risks and deliver enormous benefits resulting from efficient and dependable thermal management.
Parker’s Quick Coupling Division is the largest manufacturer of quick couplings in the world. Learn more about the critical role of Parker’s dripless connectors in liquid cooling systems for thermal management.
This post was contributed by Cameron Koller, market development manager, Quick Coupling Division, Parker Hannifin.