DownUnder cooling tech more efficient

07/06/2016 - 12:12

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Perth-based data centre operator DownUnder GeoSolutions' fluid server-cooling technology has outperformed the effectiveness ratings of some of the world’s largest tech companies.

DownUnder GeoSolutions' fluid server-cooling technology.

Perth-based data centre operator DownUnder GeoSolutions' fluid server-cooling technology has outperformed the effectiveness ratings of some of the world’s largest tech companies.

DUG operates the largest supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere, known as Bruce, which uses vast amounts of computer power to process seismic data for offshore exploration companies.

Rather than using fans to air cool Bruce’s servers, an expensive and environmentally unfriendly method for a computer of Bruce’s size, the supercomputer’s servers are submerged in DUG’s specifically-designed oil-like substance called polyalphaolefin dielectric fluid, which has reduced power costs by 45 per cent.

DUG, a finalist in this year's WAITTA Incite Awards for its cooling technology, has implemented the system for its supercomputers in Houston and Kuala Lumpur, in addition to Bruce, which is located in Subiaco.

The energy savings have contributed to a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.03, which is lower than the ratings achieved by both Google and Facebook.

Bruce is about five times larger than the public Pawsey Supercomputer Centre in Kensington, which opened in 2013.

“More and more computing is being housed in large, high-density data centres around the world,” DUG managing director Matt Lamont said.

“These data centres are starting to aggressively tackle the amount of energy they consume in an effort to reduce their footprint and save money.

“Our cooling system offers the highest levels of cooling with the simplest design, installation and maintenance. It’s cheap and easy to deploy.”

Mr Lamont said the technology could also easily be installed in existing data centres.

The Incite awards winners will be announced at the end of the month.

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