Liquid-Cooled Supercomputers, to Trim the Power BillThe New York Times, February 11, 2014
TOKYO — Dropping a home computer into a vat of liquid would wreck it.
Yet some operators of supercomputers are submerging their machines in liquids, without causing any apparent damage, to keep them from overheating. Advocates say so-called immersion or submersion cooling could solve one of the biggest challenges of the digital economy: reducing the air-conditioning bills and environmental strains of the power-hungry servers and supercomputers that crunch ever-rising mountains of data.
A prototype supercomputer at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is submerged in a tank of mineral oil, was named in November in an industry ranking, the Green500, as the most energy-efficient machine of its kind. The computer, called Tsubame KFC, is 50 percent more powerful than an older supercomputer at the institute but uses the same amount of energy.