Data centers make our lives faster, easier, and more efficient, from the emails that keep our businesses running to the videos that keep us entertained.
But the more we rely on them, the more energy is spent cooling them and the more space they occupy.
Worldwide, data centers occupy almost as much area as the city of Minneapolis, and cooling alone requires as much energy as it takes to power New York City. But with more advanced cooling systems, we can tackle both of these problems at once.
Huge strides can be made by switching from traditional air cooling to advanced systems like immersion cooling with 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids, where components are submerged in a liquid that conducts heat far better than air does. There are other, similar methods, using oil or water, but where it's costly to re-cool evaporated oil and water, Novec fluids boil and condense passively—and don't leave any residue on the components they're cooling.
This process is so much more efficient that it can cut cooling costs by as much as 95% compared to air cooling. And because Novec fluids are efficient heat conductors, they need less cooling machinery and less space between components, allowing previously air-cooled facilities to shrink their footprints by 90%—as an industry, they could shrink from the size of Minneapolis, to the size of its airport.
Whether those savings are put towards making even more powerful data centers or reducing the strain on the environment, liquid cooling can make a big difference.