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research-article

RELIABILITY CONSIDERATIONS FOR OIL IMMERSION COOLED DATA CENTERS

[+] Author and Article Information
Jimil M. Shah

University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19023, Arlington, TX, United States, 76013
jimil.shah@mavs.uta.edu

Richard Eiland

University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19023, Arlington, TX, United States, 76013
rick.eiland@dell.com

Pavan Rajmane

University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19023, Arlington, TX, United States, 76013
pavan.rajmane@mavs.uta.edu

Ashwin Siddarth

University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19023, Arlington, TX, United States, 76013
ashwin.siddarth@mavs.uta.edu

Dr. Dereje Agonafer

University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19023, Arlington, TX, United States, 76013
agonafer@uta.edu

Veerendra Mulay

Facebook Inc., Menlo Park, CA, United States, 425081
vmulay@fb.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042979 History: Received June 20, 2018; Revised February 15, 2019

Abstract

The improved efficiency of mineral oil may offer simplicity in facility design compared to traditional air cooling and provide a means for cost savings. Despite its improved cooling efficiency and cost savings, a mineral oil immersion cooling technique is still not widely implemented and Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are reluctant to jeopardize sales of existing air-based cooling system equipment. Only compelling physics regarding thermal performance of direct immersion cooling is not enough for data center operators. Many uncertainties and concerns persist regarding the effects of mineral oil immersion cooling on the reliability of information technology (IT) equipment both at the component and chassis level. This paper is a first attempt at addressing this challenge by reviewing the changes in physical and chemical properties of IT equipment materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), printed circuit board (PCB) and capacitors and characterize the interconnect reliability of materials. The changes in properties of a mineral oil like kinematic viscosity and dielectric strength are also cited as important factors and discussed briefly. The changes in mechanical properties like elasticity, hardness, swelling, and creep are being shown in the paper for thermoplastic materials. The chemical reaction between material and mineral oil as a function of time and temperature is also conferred. The literature gathered on the subject and quantifiable data gathered by the authors provide the primary basis for this research document.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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