In a two-phase immersion cooled system, electronic components are submerged into a bath of dielectric heat transfer liquids, which are much better heat conductors than air, water or oil. With their various low boiling points (ie. 49°C vs. 100°C in water), the fluids boil on the surface of heat generating components and rising vapor passively takes care of heat transfer.
In contrast to submersion oil cooling, liquids are clean, environmentally friendly and non-flammable. No heatsinks, pumps and jets are required to keep hardware cool. Circulation happens passively by the natural process of evaporation and without spending any extra energy.
It is this simplicity that eliminates conventional cooling hardware and results in better cooling efficiency. Compared to traditional air, water or oil cooling, this passive process results in the use of much less energy.
A system designed without the restrictions and overhead of traditional cooling methods has a number of other advantages, such as a much higher density, improved performance and the possibility for applications that would otherwise be impractical.
With a smaller package, lower power consumption and much less supporting infrastructure (ie. no chillers or air conditions), the choice of facilities becomes much less restrictive.
Our passive immersion cooled systems free the designer from all the overhead of a heat transfer system. For developers, time to market can be greatly improved, allowing for a more elegant design overall. Engineers can focus on building their application instead of finding ways to get the heat out. This is true for new applications and also down the road when old obsolete hardware is phased out and replaced by a new generation.
In air-cooled or water-cooled systems, an enormous amount of resources is spent on redesigning the cooling system with each and every generation. In an immersion cooled system, new hardware does not require any resources for the heat transfer process. In other words, your immersion cooling enclosure will work with all your future hardware too. Out with the old, in with the new.
Immersion cooling systems don't lock customers in to one technology. What goes in enclosures and what connects to them is completely up to the end-user. This holds true for server level hardware (inside the tank) and for facility level infrastructure. Immersion cooling designs are a bit like reusable barebone systems - assembled only once and then put to work exactly the way the customer sees fit, for many hardware generations.
Hardware placed into an immersion cooling system benefits from lower junction temperatures and improved performance, no temperature swings or hot spots, and generally runs more reliable. Since the cooling system is passive and not attached to the hardware, there are no unnecessary parts to build or service. Another advantage is the ability to get rid of duplicate hardware and transfer heat only once.
Using a passive 2-phase immersion cooling system has inadvertent positive side effects on both, the device and facility level.
Massive air flow, dust and noise are eliminated from the facility. Having no fans, bulky heatsinks or air channels on the hardware level results in a very clean and elegant design.
Should a board ever have to leave the bath, it will come out dry. It won't be wet, sticky or oily. There is no need to keep rubber mats or tissues nearby. Chances are, the discs in your hard drives or your camera lens went through Novec vapor phase cleaning when they were made.
3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids have an excellent environmental, health and safety profile. Novec fluid does not deplete ozone (zero ozone depletion potential) and has a very low global warming potential. It is non-toxic and non-flammable. Because of its low global warming potential, Novec is used in gas fire extinguishing systems by companies such as IBM in data centers worldwide.
For a free immersion cooling project evaluation, feel free to use our immersion cooling evaluation form. You'll be surprised how beneficial immersion cooling can be, even on a smaller scale.