Data centers warm up to liquid cooling

Growing adoption of artificial intelligence and other power-intensive workloads, along with regulatory pressure to reduce energy consumption, is driving a slow but steady transition to liquid cooling in data centers.

Today, 22% of data centers are using liquid cooling, according to IDC analyst Sean Graham. A decade of growth is anticipated: The global data center liquid cooling market was estimated at $2 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% between 2023 and 2032, according to Global Market Insights.

Reasons for the spike in interest include:

  • Data centers are energy hogs: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), data center electricity consumption in the U.S. is expected to increase from around 200 TWh in 2022, which is approximately 4% of the country’s electricity demand, to almost 260 TWh in 2026, when it will account for 6% of total electricity demand.
  • Cooling accounts for a sizeable portion of energy use: Cooling requirements account for 40% of a data center’s electricity demand, according to the IEA.
  • IT is more on the hook for consumption: Uptime Institute found that 33% of data center owners and operators are very concerned about improving energy efficiency for facilities equipment – higher than any other issue. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important concern, the percentage of companies implementing a data center infrastructure sustainability program will rise from about 5% in 2022 to 75% by 2027, Gartner predicts.
  • Server rack density has been increasing: Although a typical server rack is between 4 and 10 kilowatts, densities in high performance environments can be as high as 20 to 30 kilowatts, according to McKinsey. Density is also a consideration for edge computing, where space is at a premium.

Read full article at Network World.