Water cooling for supercomputers unveiled in Switzerland

May 06, 2010
Hundreds of ethernet cables. Swiss researchers on Thursday unveiled a water-cooling system to cut the heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

Swiss researchers on Thursday unveiled a water-cooling system to cut the heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

Up to half of a data centre's is used in the powering of air cooling systems necessary to prevent supercomputers from overheating.

Through the new water cooling system, called Aquasar, researchers are aiming to cut the excess power consumption.

"With Aquasar, we are achieving an important contribution for the development of a sustainable high performance processor and computer system," said project chief Dimos Poulikakos.

"In the future, how efficient each processor is by watt and by carbon dioxide gram would be determinant," added the professor from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, which developed the system with IBM.

According to the institute, the water cooling system would cut the carbon footprint of the by up to 85 percent and save up to 30 tonnes of a year.

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Stotty
not rated yet May 06, 2010
If I recall correctly the Cray 2 was watercooled in 1985. What is so revolutionary about Aquasar? A bit more journalism and less cut and paste from promo literature is required.
RubberBaron
5 / 5 (2) May 06, 2010
Yes, and IBM mainframes were cooled by water a few decades ago too. I remember reading a paper on how heat was transferred from CPU to water as efficiently as then possible using hydrogen gas I believe.

And you can get kits to water cool your PC from any decent geek store.

Rubbish story...
zealous
not rated yet May 06, 2010
I've had multiple water cooled computers even building a water tower evap cooling system, does that mean I cans haves my own psyorg write up?
Bob_Kob
not rated yet May 07, 2010
Hundreds of ethernet cables. Swiss researchers on Thursday unveiled a water-cooling system to cut the heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint.


What does 'hundreds of ethernet cables' have to do with water cooling?
VOR
5 / 5 (1) May 07, 2010
How does water cooling "cut the heat generated by a supercomputer, thereby significantly reducing its carbon footprint"? Im wondering if instead the computer is still producing exactly the same amount of heat, and water is transporting it away instead of air. This could mean that the heat is more effectively transported outside the bldg if it's plumbed that way. I could see that reducing A/C costs. I dont even know if they are using it that way.
Stotty
not rated yet May 07, 2010
It's IBM up to their old tricks - but this time they are dumping the energy into the heating system for the Uni where they've installed the computer. Hence the claims for energy efficiency etc. I suppose they have a point but it's hardly cutting edge.
Grun4it
not rated yet May 07, 2010
Ok, this may sound ultra simplistic, but depending on the amount of heat the supercomputer produces, why not pump the waste heat out of the cooled environment to drive small turbines to produce energy, before the cooling process. Heating water to turn turbines is the basis of most traditional powerplants. I understand that it may cost more to build the small power plants than it would produce, but most different ideas do, and that lead to better designs. There is no mention of actual measurable numbers to even try to guess. Maybe this plan would powers a few LED lights or recharges a cell phone.