Microsoft cools its servers by immersing them in a boiling liquid

04/07/2021 at 09:36 CEST

Antonio Vallejo Taslimi

The worst enemy of servers and data centers that companies make available to us for many of the services we use is temperature. To run Microsoft servers, you need a lot of space, and above all, a good cooling method, since as you know, they are systems that remain in operation practically 24/7. Apparently the company has been studying a new cooling method for some time, which would be the key to its data centers. This is a method that may be confusing. We talk about immerse these servers in a boiling liquid that serves as a coolant.

As they comment through an entry in the official Microsoft blog, this liquid would cool in a much more efficient way than by air. We are talking about a harmless liquid for the internal components of the server and that cools the systems in a better way than by the air itself. However, perhaps the fact that it is at high temperatures can confuse more than one. This liquid absorbs the heat from the components, causing the system to cool down. In a two-phase system, this liquid is boiled, causing the vapor that emanates from it to revert to liquid after reaching a condenser. In this way we obtain a closed circuit with a constant temperature.

This liquid is manufactured by 3M and when it boils it is at a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius. The experiment is taking place on one of the Azure servers in Washington. If Microsoft is satisfied with the results, this method could reach more systems. According to the tests, this liquid would reduce energy consumption between 5% and 15%. As a curiosity, this method is often used in dedicated cryptocurrency mining systems. Microsoft caught up with it and they started the study.