Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Liquid Cooling and Reuse of Waste Heat in Super-Computers (Aquasar)

Aquasar is a joint project between the LTNT group at ETH and the IBM research lab in Zurich. In traditional air-cooling a huge amount of energy is consumed to cool super-computers. Switching to liquid-cooling has two advantages:

  • The energy consumption of the cooling system is reduced because only pumping power is required instead of using highly power consuming chillers to cool down the air before entering the system.
  • Connected to a heat exchanger the heated liquid can be reused for further applications.

These features result in a more efficient energy use which reduces the carbon footprint of super-computers.

Figure 1: Liquid cooled blade used for the Aquasar-system (courtesy of IBM Research - Zurich)

The Aquasar-system will be installed at ETH Zurich to provide a first working example for the reuse of heat in liquid-cooled super-computers. The waste heat will be used in the heating system of the ETH. This project involves computational and experimental analysis of important parameters in order to optimize the system.

Thanks to Mai Ban

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