Evolution, Engineering & Connectivity [Includes Video]: What is Set to Change the Data Center Game?

CHARLOTTE, NC – CAPRE’s Data Center Series largely focus on the financial side of the data center equation. But CAPRE knows that it’s also essential to pop the hood and take a look underneath the investment landscape. The session “Evolution, Engineering & Connectivity of the Data Center Supply Side: What Type of Product (Hyperscale, Colocation, Edge) is in the Pipeline, and How Will it Be Wired?” at CAPRE’s Carolinas Data Center Summit was a prime example and illustrative picture of the other side of the equation.

“The first question I’d like to throw out there – and really is this for the entire panel, I hope each of you to take a shot at it – is about how we’re taking a look at what’s happening in our industry. The rapidly changing strategies for different aspects of data centers,” began Moderator Dave Meadows, Director of Industry, Standards and Technology at Stulz. “What do you see as, what is staring at us in the face in the next one to two years, that may change how we go about designing data centers and populating data centers?”

Vali Sorell, Vice President and Chief Mission Critical Mechanical Engineer at Glumac then went first at sharing his thoughts. “That’s a really timely question, since Dave on past panels of CAPRE in the last couple of years, have actually been talking about liquid cooling in the past couple of years,” began Sorell. “We probably have different perspective – Dave in particular – he’s dealt with water on the heat exchange or cold-plate cooling, and I’ve been looking at immersion cooling. and I think that is the way of the future. It’s not quite there today.”

Dave Meadows, Director of Industry, Technology, and standards, STULZ

“There are options available, there are definitely commercially available products. And I think they are viable. They are good products,” he stressed. “But the potential to – and this is really the heart of the question – revolutionize the way I see our business going, I think is still probably a year or two or three away, maybe even longer. I’ve been saying this for ten years – that liquid cooling is going to change the industry.”

“But I think I’m seeing a real uptick in the way that this is taking off, specifically addressing the subject that was brought up this morning, of 5G,” continued Sorell. “I’m seeing the opportunity for having stand alone, high capacity, maybe 100 or 200 kw of power, in as many locations as necessary, in order to achieve that kind of 5G distribution that is needed, and one of the benefits of having anything liquid cooled, whether it be water on a cold plate or immersion based, is that it becomes almost standalone.”

After all, according to Sorell, liquid cooling is just so simple. “It’s an elegant solution. It’s low maintenance. And it’s extremely energy efficient,” he listed. “So I think we’d be foolish not to give it some serious thought as being a part of changing the way that the industry works.”