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Castrol, Submer shift gears to datacenter immersion cooling

Just us who see 'liquid engineering' and think three pints at lunch on a Thursday? OK, got it, just us

Castrol, better known for its engine oil, has partnered with cooling specialist Submer to drive the adoption of immersion cooling for datacenter and edge applications.

For those of a certain age, Castrol will forever be associated with TV ads that proclaimed its Castrol GTX product as not just oil, but "liquid engineering." Now, however, it is teaming up with Submer to promote liquid immersion cooling as a way towards more efficient and more sustainable datacenter operations.

The two companies said they will work together on the global supply, development and standardization of next generation immersion cooling fluids. These are typically so-called dielectric fluids that conduct heat but not electricity, enabling components such as server motherboards to be cooled by being completely immersed in the fluid.

This union will combine Castrol's thermal management know-how with Submer's background in immersion cooling systems, with the pair claiming that water usage and the power consumption to operate and cool server equipment can be significantly reduced by turning to immersion cooling.

"Teaming up with Submer is a great example of how cooperation can help deliver more efficient operations and can bring about many opportunities for us to continue to deliver products that help save energy whilst delivering high-performance with increased efficiency," said Rebecca Yates, VP for advanced mobility and industrial products at BP, Castrol's parent company.

Submer CEO and co-founder Daniel Pope claimed there are two key drivers for switching to a different medium from the air cooling still widely used in many IT environments. One is a technical need driven by upcoming generations of high-density computer chips that will require more cooling capacity than existing technology can deliver, while the other is the need to deliver more sustainable datacenters.

"Thanks to immersion cooling we can run these digital infrastructures with considerably reduced energy and space typically required," Pope said. Additionally, the heat can be recovered and reused for other purposes, such as domestic heating, he added.

Submer announced another partnership earlier this month with German server maker RNT Rausch to provide immersion cooling for customers of RNT's server and storage systems.

Castrol said that its immersion cooling fluids are designed for single-phase immersion cooling schemes, where the dielectric fluid is pumped through a heat exchanger to transfer the heat to a water-cooling circuit. It also claimed its products have lower viscosity than conventional dielectric fluids, with high oxidation resistance for long-term stability over the lifetime of the fluid. ®

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