Stable and reliable internet is critical to keeping us all connected with the people and things that matter. It supports our work and personal lives and enables the vast array of activities that we do online. Our home and business networks rely on the processing power of data centers, which house the delicate, high-tech equipment that enables the existence of the internet and the cloud.
nVent’s customers include several hyperscale data centers. Hyperscale data centers—as the name suggests—are massive, with some containing thousands of server racks. The power required to run all those servers generates a lot of heat, and computer chips and server components are fragile. For that reason, effective and efficient cooling solutions are a major frontier in the expansion of worldwide digital capabilities.
Hyperscale data centers typically expect to run at about 20 percent utilization. This means that at any given time, about 20 percent of available space on racks holds operating servers. Running at low capacity helps minimize energy requirements and keeps server rack temperatures down. However, as the demand for network capacity grows, data centers now often need to run at closer to 70 percent utilization.
A Modern Approach
Reliance on the internet and the cloud to execute essential processes is not going away, so companies that run data centers need sustainable long-term solutions. Building more centers would allow companies to reduce utilization rates, but it takes many years to build a data center and the demand for increased capacity is here right now. Another option is running more servers in existing data centers. However, more servers means more heat, which demands a more effective cooling solution.
Advanced liquid cooling is the solution data centers need. Heat transfers to liquid more effectively than it does to air, so by pumping coolant liquid through server racks, liquid cooling can regulate temperatures and protect equipment more effectively and efficiently than air-cooling. Many cooling systems can use as much electricity as the servers themselves, so increases in cooling efficiency are necessary to contain energy costs and reduce carbon footprint.
In 2020, with demand for internet on the rise, nVent engineers realized there was an immediate need for a standardized liquid cooling solution. While nVent had made liquid cooling units before, each unit was a custom job—a process that is both time-consuming and expensive. nVent’s data center customers needed a standard solution with a standard footprint that would quickly fit into their existing facilities.
An Innovative Solution
The nVent engineering teams got to work developing a new liquid cooling solution using the same kinds of virtual tools the product would eventually help support. Typically, new product development means travel and lab visits for nVent’s global teams, but in this case the team conducted all of its work remotely. They shared videos of mock-ups, clamped cameras onto equipment to share processes and built and examined virtual renderings to solve engineering challenges. Developing a new product while working entirely virtually comes with its fair share of challenges, but the team was able to take advantage of the same tools the product would eventually support—fast, reliable internet.
The team’s focus and high-speed digital collaboration helped nVent’s product team take the RackChiller CDU800 Coolant Distribution Unit from spec to prototype in just five months. This process usually takes 12-24 months.
The RackChiller CDU800 Coolant Distribution Unit is the first standardized liquid cooling unit under the nVent HOFFMAN brand. The high-density cooling server rack maximizes energy efficiency while taking up minimal floor space relative to the amount of equipment it can hold. The nVent CDU is unlike any other product available. nVent’s leak detection technology scans both inside and outside the unit to quickly detect and isolate any potential damage. Additionally, with its rack-level liquid control, the unit can be serviced while still running. The unit also can be easily integrated with the nVent Schroff Guardian Management Gateway, seamlessly connecting it to the larger data center ecosystem.
Our world is becoming more digital by the day. As internet use continues to expand to more high-performance and cloud-based applications, that growth will only accelerate. nVent’s new liquid cooling solutions help it to be a part of where the world is today and where the world is going.
Learn more about the nVent HOFFMAN RackChiller CDU800 in this video.