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Thermal Performance of a High Density Mineral Oil Immersion Cooled Server System
Keywords: Oil Immersion, Data Center , Thermal Managment
Mineral oil immersion cooling has shown promise as a viable, energy efficient cooling method for data centers. Recent commercial systems have achieved significant success obtaining low PUE values at high heat densities that are typical in supercomputing applications. However, as an emerging technology, detailed information regarding the performance of server systems in mineral oil is limited. A better understanding of thermal and fluid characteristics of mineral oil through electronics equipment can help expand the design envelope for information technology equipment (ITE) and further drive the densities and efficiencies possible. For this work, three Open Compute servers are oriented vertically and completely immersed in a tank of white mineral oil. The arrangement consists of six CPU nodes and twelve banks of dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs) as the primary heat generating sources totaling roughly 1kW of IT load within a 2U form factor. The system is subjected to a range of flow rates and oil inlet temperatures at various server workloads. Internal temperature sensors of key components, as well as bulk fluid temperature measurements are recorded. These results are compared to findings of a previous study in which a single server was tested in a horizontal configuration to understand how efficiency scales to a larger system. The results help provide a better understanding of the design possibilities in a mineral oil system.
Richard Eiland, PhD Student
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington, TX

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