IBM fellow Roger Schmidt thinks that the energy efficiency benefits of using water based cooling could win over data center managers as increasing energy densities in server racks push the room-based cooling systems to the limit.
While energy efficiency gains in processors have slowed the growth in energy density, the trend is still moving upwards. As energy densities rise, so does the volume of chilled air required to keep the equipment cool. More fans may be added and the fans may need to run faster to get sufficient air flow to keep equipment cool.
Schmidt says data centers with computer room air conditioning systems - especially those that have moved to using larger air handlers to cope with higher heat densities --- could save considerable energy by moving to water. "Fans are power pigs," he says, noting that energy use increases as a cubed function of fan speed.
more of the ComputerWorld article from Robert L. Mitchell