From plants to processors, Cargill’s newest bioindustrial product, NatureCool 2000 fluid, is the first plant-based dielectric immersion cooling fluid globally for use in data centers, cryptocurrency mining and other advanced applications that allows for a more sustainable and efficient way to cool electronic systems.
“Immersion cooling is the new frontier of technologies that allows for more efficient, higher performing systems that also help make the IT industry more sustainable,” said Kurtis Miller, managing director of Cargill’s bioindustrial business. “In just the last 10 years, data center power usage has increased from several hundred kilowatts to several hundred megawatts, an over 1,000 times increase. As chip density continues to rise and the amount of data generated seems endless, we need to find more efficient and sustainable ways to operate these complex systems.”
Cargill’s fluid, made from more than 90% vegetable oil, a renewable resource, along with performance-enhancing additives, allows for over 1,000 times more cooling capacity and up to 60% less energy usage compared to conventional air cooling.
The fluid is CO2 neutral with a Global Warming Potential of zero, helping make applications adopting the fluid more sustainable. It has a 10% higher heat capacity than leading synthetic immersion cooling fluids, making it higher performing. It also provides a superior level of fire safety with a very high flash point of 325 degrees Celsius, and unlike synthetic fluids, NatureCool fluid doesn’t self-ignite and flames out after the heat source is removed.
As the generation and use of data continues to grow exponentially, more data centers and cryptocurrency mining centers that use massive amounts of power are needed. Data centers account for nearly 3% of the global electricity used and over 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions, as much as the carbon footprint generated by the entire airline industry. As these businesses look for ways to reduce their energy use and support corporate social responsibility goals, they are turning to immersion cooling methods to replace conventional air-cooling systems. In addition to data centers, this technology can be applied to electric vehicle charging stations and other complex electronics.
Compared to conventional air cooling with HVAC systems, immersion cooling submerges servers in a bath of non-conductive liquid, allowing thermal heat generated by the computer components to be transmitted into the fluid and cooled. This method greatly reduces energy use, extends the life of the equipment, supports higher chip densities and lowers the overall operating cost. NatureCool takes the benefits of immersion cooling to another level by offering a high performing plant-based solution, making the process even more sustainable.
A self-contained cooling and heating solution
Immersion cooling, while still a relatively new technology, is quickly becoming the preferred method for cooling electronic equipment as data generation and online activity continues to skyrocket. What’s more, immersion cooling is serving as an affordable source for heating buildings in colder climates without needing conventional electric or gas heat sources.
Mindful Energy Solutions Inc., based in Manitoba, Canada, is using NatureCool 2000 fluid in modular data mining tanks positioned at large farming, greenhouse and industrial facilities near Winnipeg. The fluid provides a source to cool the data processing equipment and the thermal energy stored in the fluid is then upcycled as an effective and affordable heat source for warming those facilities nine months out of the year.
“We were seeing businesses with huge losses on both ends of the energy use spectrum – from inefficient cooling of processors upfront – to not having the ability to capture and reuse generated heat on the back end,” said Stephane Gauthier, partner and CEO of Mindful Energy Solutions Inc. “Now, by utilizing the heat held in the immersion cooling fluid, we’re seeing some customers cover 100% of their annual heating cost in facilities that are over 10,000 square feet, representing huge savings while being more sustainable.”
Mindful Energy is conducting its own crypto currency mining in these locations but is currently working with large Canadian corporations on decentralizing data mining in the same manner to reduce energy costs and power outage risks for a more efficient and renewable solution.
NatureCool 2000 fluid joins a diverse portfolio of Cargill Bioindustrial plant-based solutions, ranging from asphalt rejuvenation, adhesives and binders, wax, lubricants and transformer insulating fluid.