Data Center Cooling Demands Grow
With computers’ growing performance capabilities, big data centers often face the challenge of keeping their machines from overheating while computing. High-performance computers handle a host of different requests simultaneously, requiring a massive amount of computing power provided by a staggering number of servers. Each of these servers generates heat, and to cool these servers, most data centers use large and inefficient air conditioners.
Ebullient DirectJet TM precision cooling systems pump a safe, non-conductive liquid to proprietary modules that mount on top of hot chips in a computer to capture the heat where it is generated and then carry the heat to a central location where it is removed from the building or reused to heat water or air for a nearby office space. The Madison-based company’s technology uses a unique process that allows the liquid to boil at a low temperature as it flows through proprietary modules mounted on hot chips, allowing for cooling the chips more efficiently and safely than technologies previously on the market.
Technology to Increase Cooling Efficiency, Safety
Prior to founding the company, CEO Tim Shedd was a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he led a team of researchers in the areas of two-phase flow and phase-change heat transfer. Spurred to action by the 2007 U.S. Department of Energy finding that data center cooling was responsible for nearly 1 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, he began to study the problem and how scientific discoveries from his lab could be applied to it.
“The demand for high-powered computing is growing unabated,” says Shedd. “With every device that is sold, the servers that run behind the scenes are having to do more to enable us to watch movies, get our bank statements and check our health records. In addition, there is growing demand for high-powered computers to perform weather modeling and complex financial transactions, for example, and processor power is projected to more than double for many of these server computers in the next few years. Meanwhile, computer owners want to locate more and more of these computers in smaller and smaller spaces.” With the immense computing needs of the future, Shedd sees equally immense potential for Ebullient’s products.