Direct Contact Liquid Cooling (DCLC) Vs Liquid Immersion Cooling (LIC)Jay Burse
As the demand for faster and more efficient computing systems grows, data centers are constantly seeking ways to improve their cooling systems to manage the increasing heat produced by high-density servers. Traditional air-cooling systems are no longer sufficient for the task, and liquid cooling has become a popular alternative. However, there are two main types of liquid cooling methods: direct contact liquid cooling and liquid immersion cooling. In this blog, we’ll compare these two methods and help you understand which one is better for your data center.
Direct Contact Liquid Cooling (DCLC)
Direct contact liquid cooling (DCLC) is a type of liquid cooling that involves running a coolant directly over the server components, such as the CPU, GPU, and memory modules. This method uses a closed-loop system that circulates the coolant through a pump and a heat exchanger. The coolant absorbs the heat generated by the server components and carries it away to the heat exchanger, where it is dissipated into the surrounding environment.
One of the main benefits of DCLC is its efficiency. By directly cooling the server components, DCLC can remove more heat from the system than traditional air cooling or even liquid immersion cooling. This increased efficiency allows for higher-density server configurations and can reduce energy consumption.
However, DCLC can be expensive to implement, as it requires specialized hardware and plumbing. Additionally, DCLC can be more complex to maintain, as any leaks or failures in the system can cause damage to the server components.
Liquid Immersion Cooling (LIC)
Liquid immersion cooling (LIC) is a type of liquid cooling that involves submerging the server components in a non-conductive coolant. The coolant absorbs the heat generated by the server components and carries it away from the system. LIC uses a passive cooling system that relies on the natural convection of the coolant to dissipate heat.
One of the main benefits of LIC is its simplicity. Since the server components are submerged in the coolant, there is no need for complex plumbing or specialized hardware. Additionally, LIC is highly efficient, as the coolant can directly contact all of the server components, providing more uniform cooling.
However, LIC does have some drawbacks. Since the server components are submerged in a liquid, it can be more difficult to perform maintenance or repairs on the system. Additionally, LIC can be more expensive than air cooling, as it requires a larger volume of coolant and specialized tanks.
Which one is better?
When it comes to choosing between DCLC and LIC, there is no clear winner. The choice depends on the specific needs of your data center.
In my opinion, DCLC is complex and involves more products and components which very few and a specific handful of companies produce in the world, while LIC is better, simpler, and can cool medium to extremely dense server deployments.
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