Asetek Participates in DoD Program, Opens Data Center Cooling Demo

The Department of Defense has selected Asetek’s ISAC (Inside Server Air Conditioning) liquid-cooling product to participate in its Transformative Reductions in Operational Energy Consumption (TROPEC) program.

TROPEC is a collaborative DoD and Department of Energy program that targets energy efficiency for critical applications at military forward operations such as data centers and communications.

ISAC is the next generation of Asetek’s RackCDU (short for Rack Coolant Distribution Unit) data center liquid-cooling product line. Unlike the traditional RackCDU products, which can eliminate 80 percent of server cooling load in the data center, ISAC eliminates the need for active cooling altogether by removing 100 percent of server heat through Asetek’s proprietary liquid-cooling solution, the company says.

For commercial data centers, ISAC also reduces the infrastructure costs by eliminating the capital and operating costs associated with computer-room air-conditioning systems.

ISAC makes data center air-quality requirements irrelevant, which is important for TROPEC because it allows server installation in harsh environments such as military forward operating bases or mobile locations like military Humvees.

In other Asetek news, the company has built a demonstration room (pictured) in its San Jose, Calif. office to showcase its RackCDU, ISAC and internal loop liquid cooling solutions for servers and data centers.

The room features an Asetek RackCDU-cooled HPC cluster. The fully populated rack consumes 37kW of power at full load. The heat from the direct-to-chip and memory coolers is absorbed into liquid and rejected through the RackCDU connected directly to a dry cooler installed on the roof.

Because the system is designed to cool with a 40 C (104 F) inlet temperature, it does not require any sort of compressive or evaporative chilling, meaning there is also no waste of water.

About 80 percent of the rack’s waste heat is recaptured directly into the facilities water. This waste heat can be reclaimed for other purposes, such as building heating. The integrated RackCDU monitoring and surveillance software is running on wall-mounted LCDs to monitor the performance of nodes, energy recapture, inlet and outlet liquid temperatures and other cooling statistics.

Asetek also has the ability to change parameters such as flow, temperatures and load on the fly, making it possible to demonstrate almost any user-scenario and the associated value proposition in terms of power saving, performance and/or density.

The company says it welcomes OEMs, data center operators and others to tour the facility.

In December 2012, the DoD selected Asetek to perform a $2 million project to retrofit a major DoD data center with its RackCDU liquid-cooling technology.

Data center energy costs are the top-of-mind issues for data center managers, according to a 2012 survey of data center users from Emerson Network Power, with 35 percent of respondents citing power as the primary factor limiting data center capacity and 16 percent citing cooling.



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