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Data Center Cooling: Comparison of Thermal Resistance and Pump Power for Circulating Air, Water, and Freon (Phase Change) Coolants
Keywords: pumped fluid cooling, pump power, data center cooling
Data center cooling is becoming more important as microprocessor power densities increase. Selection of fluids other than air is motivated by the desire to reduce thermal resistance between heat source (chip package) and ultimate heat sink (building chilled water or outside air) and the cost of moving the heat. This presentation examines and presents in graphical form the power needed to move heat using air, water, and a phase change material (freon) from a rack mounted computer to the building chilled water system or outside air. Existing air based systems have significant temperature swings below the temperature of the ultimate heat sink resulting in proportionately larger power needed to pump heat across this larger temperature difference. Liquid and phase change coolants can reduce pumping power and physical size of heat exchanger for a given power dissipation.
Ronald C. Crane, Advisor
Clustered Systems Co.
Mountain View, CA

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