Server Liquid Cooling for Data Centres...Done Right!


EUROPEAN COMMISSION - Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Grant #768264 is awarded to Asetek A/S for the action entitled ‘Server liquid cooling for Data Centres... done right! — 'serverChill'

Topic: SMEInst-01-2016-2017 Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme

Call (part) identifier: H2020-SMEINST-2-2016-2017

The estimated eligible costs of the action are EUR 1,558,750.00

The grant reimburses 70% of the action's eligible costs: EUR 1,091,125.00

Duration: 24 months


With the accelerating increase of cloud-based services, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data the IT sector is running into a fundamental bottleneck. Indeed, the demand for upscaling the computational power requires even denser server farms, whose thermal management of dissipated heat with conventional air-based cooling is both becoming technically unfeasible, environmentally questionable and economically unbearable. Thus, power/cooling is currently the #1 Data Centre (DC) design criteria.

Asetek’s Direct-To-Chip liquid cooling solutions are based on the fact that water absorbs and conducts heat much more efficiently than air. This directly translates in computational performance gains, since the components can run at speed without overheating or undesired throttling thanks to efficient heat dissipation. Moreover, Asetek’s data centre-oriented liquid cooling solution – RackCDU D2C™, a disruptive server chassis with an integrated liquid piping that transfers heat from CPUs/GPUs and memory modules to flowing liquid through radiator interfaces – can even enable the dissipated heat to be recovered for building heating, thus reducing the cooling energy bill of data centres up to 70%.

In addition, these significant savings are delivered while requiring only a 6% CAPEX increase for new DCs and having a <1 year investment payback time – thus providing a much stronger value proposition than direct competitors. The key market barrier to generate strong pull for RackCDU in the $5bn market of Data Centre cooling technologies is the very conservative and risk-averse mind-set of data centre managers. Thus, the core activities of the project primarily focus on large scale showcasing of RackCDU, which will enable Asetek to thoroughly anchor its communication around a factbased strategy . This will propel our SME growth over the next decade, posing a potential business revenue stream allowing to graduate from its SME status within the first 5-years post-project.

 How RackCDU Works

RackCDU D2C is a Cooling Distribution Unit. Heat exchangers in the RackCDU remove the heat captured by the server coolers transferring it to facilities water. Heat is exchanged with no mixing of facilities and server cooling water. The final heat rejection point can be outside dry coolers or cooling towers – in case outside cool air is used as the heat sink - or other such standard HVAC or central heating units – in case the warm water is to be reused for building heating purposes.

The patented double-sealed, dripless quick connectors allow seamless installation by IT staff, not requiring specialized plumbers every time a server needs to be replaced or serviced. Thus, reliability and quick access to servers are always ensured. In addition, Asetek's rubber tubes are less prone to kinking, less likely to be damaged and able to sustain more bends than plastic tubes commonly used. Rubber tubing also provides ultra-low permeability that eliminates the need for big reservoirs and concerns during a server’s life cycle for monitoring server fluid levels.