—If your laptop has ever become uncomfortably hot, you’ve had a taste of what data centers worldwide are up against: Server components approaching 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees F), with hundreds to thousands of servers per center. With data centers on average consuming an estimated 70 billion kWh per year, a disruptive energy-saving solution is needed, and a liquid-submerged server (LSS) technology from LiquidCool Solutions might be the answer.

The server, contained in a sealed enclosure filled with a recirculating flow of an electrically non-conductive heat transfer fluid, recently succeeded in validation tests through the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) Program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). There it sits alongside of Peregrine, NREL’s supercomputer in the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), as a powerful computing resource for NREL researchers. The testing confirmed that the LSS technology could not only maintain target temperatures under heavy computational load, but that the hot liquid could be used to heat buildings more efficiently than NREL’s current solution.