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Coolant Distribution Units

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Coolant Distribution Units

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IT cooling challenges continue to escalate as new server-accelerated computing technologies, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and high-performance computing drive ever-increasing heat densities in data center environments. Liquid cooling is rapidly emerging as a technology for efficiently handling power-intensive hot spots. To keep high-power CPUs and GPUs operating within specifications, coolant distribution units offer a wider range of cooling capabilities, higher efficiency and a more flexible solution than traditional air cooling options.

Coolant distribution units are designed to manage the high thermal loads of accelerated computing and high-density data center environments, providing critical cooling capacity and heat dissipation. CDU provides controlled, contamination-free coolant for heat exchangers, direct chip cooling and immersion cooling equipment. CDUs are components of liquid cooling systems designed to increase overall system efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership for high-density applications in data centers. Coolant distribution units circulate and pump coolant in a closed-loop system within the rack and server case, and use facility water (in a full liquid cooling system) and air outside the rack to cool the servers.

Because liquid is more efficient at transferring heat than air, CDUs can be introduced in locations where rack density is higher and the heat generated exceeds the capabilities of the air-cooling system. The CDU network exchanges heat between the building’s existing facility cooling system or liquid circuit (FWS) and the CDU circuit (TCS) operating close to the IT equipment. Coolant distribution units create an isolated secondary loop separate from the chilled water supply, enabling tight containment management and precise control of temperature, pressure and flow of the liquid cooling system. Whether a stand-alone in-row CDU or an integrated in-rack CDU, the liquid-to-liquid coolant distribution unit must be connected to the existing FWS supported by a heat exchanger to facilitate heat transfer away from the CDU.


Coolant Distribution Units


liquid-to-liquid coolant distribution units

Liquid-to-liquid CDUs provide optimal cooling performance. However, they will need to install pipes and pumps to connect the facility’s water.

liquid-air coolant distribution units

Although its cooling capacity is limited compared to a liquid-to-liquid CDU, products in this category do not require water pipes, are easier to install, take up less space, and have a lower initial cost than a liquid-to-liquid CDU.

Closed-loop liquid cooling coolant distribution units

The CDUs in this category release heat with high efficiency after simply being installed in a server. These CDUs respond to thermal loads that would be hard to process with a fan or a heatsink.

Advantages of coolant distribution units

Efficient cooling

CDUs are more compact and flexible than traditional air conditioning systems. Due to their smaller size and weight, they can also be placed closer to cooled servers, which requires less energy because they don’t need to distribute coolant throughout a room or building.

Compared to traditional air conditioners or chillers, CDUs can reduce power consumption while increasing system uptime and reliability, resulting in significant energy savings that can reduce operating costs in the long run.

Precise temperature control

Coolant distribution units can also help protect data centers from potential damage caused by overheating. Thanks to a specialized controller, the CDU can maintain precise temperatures from -20°C up to +70°C, allowing data center operators to more easily tailor their requirements. This prevents component failure and even fire hazards.

Coolant distribution units are critical for data centers with high-density applications, providing tightly controlled coolant delivery and precise control of liquid cooling systems. They help manage thermal loads, reduce power consumption and increase efficiency and reliability through redundancy. CDU also promotes environmental sustainability by reducing CO2 emissions.


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