The internet that we all know and love is extremely high maintenance in terms of energy cost – the servers on which all of our data is stored eat up huge amounts of energy on a day to day basis, and a lot of that energy goes to just keeping them from overheating. However, a new approach is being studied at the University of Leeds, which seeks to bring liquid-cooling to the world of servers, the “Wet Server”. This liquid-cooling tech would cut down the energy usage by about 80 to 97 percent.
The information industry does its best to convey an image of being environmentally friendly, but in truth we all rely on giant data centers which house unspoken rows of remote servers, and that’s how the internet actually looks in the physical world. So just how much energy does the internet and all the devices connected to it use? The rough estimate is about 10% of the world’s energy production; that’s the amount of energy that was used to light every house on the planet in 1985, and 50% more than we use to put every plane in the air. Using liquid-cooling would not completely stop this roaring, energy-hungry, giant but it would at least be a minor speed bump as we continue to think of ways to cut down our energy consumption.
Dr Summers, whose team used computational fluid dynamics to model how the coolant flows through the new server’s components, said: “The liquid we are using is extraordinary stuff. You could throw your mobile phone in a tub of it and the phone would work perfectly. But the important thing for the future of computing and the internet is that it is more than 1,000 times more effective at carrying heat than air.”
Peter Hopton, Iceotope’s Chief Technology Officer and originator of the Iceotope concept, said: “More than five years of research, innovation and collaboration have gone into Iceotope’s technology. The basic principle of the design has many applications and, while a few years away, there is no reason why every home shouldn’t make better use of the surplus heat from consumer electronics, imagine having your PC or TV plumbed into the central heating system.”