How Does Immersion Cooling Work?
Although immersion cooling has been in use for decades, submerging valuable electrical devices in various fluids still seems illogical. One might wonder why someone would bother to immerse their equipment to reduce their temperature. The reason is that this technology is so influential that it is considered the future of cooling techniques.
That being said, questions such as “how does immersion cooling work” and “what is immersion cooling” are being widely asked by business owners and individuals who use high-performance processing units in their work. In this post, we aim to explain the technology in clear terms and provide everything you need to know about it.
Table of Contents
- Energy Efficiency
- Increased Hash Rate
- Longer Lifespan
- Higher Density
- Increased Reliability
- Reduced Downtime
- Improved Safety
- Reduced Noise
- Environmental Benefits
What is Immersion Cooling?
Until now, the air has been one of the most popular methods for cooling various equipment such as laptops and data centers. This method has several issues and problems. The equipment used to cool data centers with air, such as fans, ducts, and HVAC systems, is very spacious and consumes a lot of electricity.
What’s more, using other fluids to cool equipment such as power-demanding computing clusters or advanced gaming rigs necessitates pumps, pipes, and a huge amount of space. Also, fans are still crucial to handle the heat that heat pipes and cold plates cannot get rid of.
That is why immersion technology has gained attention over time because it is exceptionally energy-saving and requires little space. This technology has grown significantly due to continuously rising interest.
Immersion method, as the term suggests, entails submerging computer elements such as motherboards or other components in a fluid that is commonly known as a coolant. The fluids used in immersion technology must have specific properties to be effective in this application. Some properties of fluids used in immersion cooling technology are:
- High Thermal conductivity — to effectively absorb and dissipate heat from the electronic components
- Low Viscosity — to reduce drag and enable efficient circulation of the fluid around the submerged components
- High Boiling Point — to prevent it from evaporating and causing damage to the electronic components
- Non-Flammable — to avoid the risk of fire or explosion
- Chemical Stability — to prevent degradation or breakdown over time
- Non-Conductive (Dielectric) — to prevent short circuits
- Low Toxicity — to avoid health risks to operators
Today's immersion dielectric fluids come in two categories of oils (synthetic, mineral, and bio) and engineered fluids.
Immersion Cooling vs. Water Cooling
Both immersion and water cooling are methods used to dissipate the heat generated by computer components. However, there are some key differences between the two.
In immersion cooling, the computer components are submerged in a non-conductive liquid such as mineral oil or synthetic fluid, whereas in water cooling, a liquid coolant such as water or a water-glycol mixture is used to transfer heat away from the components.
The submerged liquid has a higher heat capacity than water, making it more efficient at absorbing heat. Additionally, immersion cooling eliminates the need for complex water blocks and tubing, reducing the potential for flow restriction and improving overall efficiency. Immersion method also requires less maintenance than water one, with no pumps or tubing to maintain, and the liquid does not need to be changed as frequently.
Furthermore, in immersion method, the liquid does not need to be changed as frequently. These systems were typically more expensive than water cooling systems, but their position has changed in recent years.
Types of Immersion Cooling
Generally, there are two methods of immersion cooling depending on the properties of the coolants:
In single-phase immersion cooling, the single-phase coolant always stays in its liquid state and does not undergo any changes in the form such as boiling or freezing. It is moved into a heat exchanger where it transfers heat to a water circuit that is actually a cooler. This method involves using “open baths” because there is minimal risk of the coolant evaporating.
Also known as evaporative cooling or flow boiling, the two-phase immersion cooling takes advantage of “latent heat,” which is the energy needed to change a fluid's state. The working fluid can be in both liquid and vapor states at the same time, and its temperature remains at its boiling point during cooling.
As energy is transferred from a heat source to the working fluid, a portion of it evaporates into a gas. This gas rises above the fluid pool, where it is then condensed back to its boiling point, causing the fluid to shower back into the pool. This cooling method requires semi-open baths, which keep the system sealed during operation to prevent coolant evaporation.
How Immersion Cooling Can Increase Mining Profitability
Immersion cooling can increase mining profitability in many ways.
1. Energy Efficiency
Immersion cooling can increase energy efficiency, which can reduce the electricity costs associated with mining. Because the cooling fluid is much more effective at removing heat than air, immersion cooling can keep mining hardware cooler while using less energy.
The technology can also enable mining hardware to be overclocked, which means that it can run at a higher speed than it was designed to run. Overclocking can lead to greater profitability of mining.
3. Increased Hash Rate
Immersion cooling can help maintain a more stable and cooler temperature for mining equipment, which can increase its hash rate and overall mining efficiency. A higher hash rate means a greater chance of successfully mining cryptocurrency and earning rewards.
4. Longer Lifespan
This type of cooling can extend the lifespan of mining hardware. Because the hardware is kept at a lower temperature, it experiences less wear and tear, which can reduce the need for costly repairs or replacements.
5. Higher Density
The technology allows for a higher density of mining equipment in a given space, as it eliminates the need for space-consuming air conditioning and exhaust systems, and allows for more equipment to be installed in a given area.
6. Increased Reliability
This method can help reduce the risk of equipment failure by keeping the mining equipment at a more stable and cooler temperature, which can increase the reliability of the equipment.
7. Reduced Downtime
Immersion cooling can also reduce downtime for mining operations. Because the hardware is kept at a consistent temperature, it is less likely to overheat and fail, which can reduce the need for maintenance and downtime.
8. Improved Safety
Immersion cooling can provide an added layer of safety by eliminating the need for high-speed fans or moving parts that can pose a hazard to workers in a mining facility.
9. Reduced Noise
Since this method eliminates the need for noisy fans or other cooling equipment, it can result in a significant reduction in overall noise levels. This can be particularly beneficial for mining operations located in residential areas, as it can help to reduce noise complaints from nearby residents.
10. Environmental Benefits
Additionally, these systems are more energy-efficient than traditional cooling systems, which can reduce the carbon footprint of a mining operation and help make it more environmentally sustainable. This can also be important for companies seeking to align their mining practices with sustainability goals.
While the initial investment in immersion cooling equipment can be higher than traditional air-cooling methods, the increased energy efficiency, overclocking, longer lifespan, and reduced downtime can ultimately lead to increased mining profitability over the long term.
Immersion cooling offers several benefits, including increased heat dissipation, reduced energy consumption, improved performance and lifespan, reduced noise, and lower maintenance requirements compared to traditional systems.
If you are looking to set up an immersion platform for your mining farm, BiXBiT’s immersion cooling systems can be the best option for you. BiXBiT offers a variety of products in this regard, including BiXBiT Cell for home mining farms, BiXBiT Rack for small and medium-sized businesses, BiXBiT Container for launching mining hotels, and our specific immersion liquid COOLANT.