Over 40% of a data center’s energy is spent on cooling. That’s why BWG’s Sustainable Enterprise Technology Council is on a mission alongside World Wide Technology to target cooling practices in the tech space.

So what are the most sustainable and cost-efficient cooling technologies? Should your enterprise change its cooling methods?

What Are the Different Cooling Methods?

One common cooling method is immersion cooling. This is where you take all of the fans out of the computer and put them into a tank of nonconductive fluid — what Don Molaro describes as “essentially baby oil” and other chemicals. This method is improving over time, but there are still some drawbacks.

Another method is direct-to-chip liquid cooling. In this practice, you replace the heat sinks on various components of the system, typically the CPUs, GPUs, and other auxiliary units that produce a lot of the heat. Then, you use a fluid to draw the heat out directly from those components. From there, you radiate the heat out to other parts of the data center.

Why Liquid Cooling May Be More Beneficial Than Air Cooling

How does air cooling compare to liquid cooling?

As CPUs and GPUs become more power-intensive, air cooling is going to become less efficient. Don explains, “it's going to be hard to blow that amount of air efficiently — or at all — to cool those components.” So, as technology advances, companies may want to shift gears toward liquid cooling instead.

Don also notes that there’s a lot of research to be done in this space yet, but many innovative companies are now taking a hybrid immersion cooling approach, where they’re only using a tank suitable for a single system. And as more companies employ high-density computing, many are turning toward liquid cooling methods upon realizing that fans are no longer efficient.

The Future of Cooling and Sustainability

The future of cooling and sustainability really comes down to companies optimizing their systems and understanding how much their infrastructure costs.

To aid enterprises in their sustainability journey, World Wide Technology is offering consulting spanning three practice areas: sustainable technology, ESG consulting, and ESG data and AI. Brendan Walsh says that these practice areas, “[were] launched following quite a considerable amount of research and strategy development, looking at customer needs, what was out there, [and] looking at [World Wide Technology’s] assets.”

Because cooling and sustainability are such significant targets and opportunities, the team at World Wide Technology is building out unique resources and labs to help each enterprise reach a net-zero target.

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