[Beowulf] 'liquid cooled' racks

Gerry Creager N5JXS gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Mon Dec 4 06:17:01 PST 2006

No experience yet but our new IBM P575 installation will use these or 
something similar.  We don't have sufficient residual forced air cooling 
to deal with 640 P5+ CPUs in our campus data center and our plans for 
dedicated HPC space on campus are still embryonic.  I'll relate our 

WRT noise load, the "cost" of another Leibert is trivial compared to the 
case fans we'll still have to endure on the new system.  I've heard 
numbers in excess of 87 dBa for this system, necessitating hearing 
protection now for anyone entering the data center space.


Bruce Allen wrote:
> Dear Beowulf list,
> For my next cluster room, I am hoping to use 'liquid cooled' racks make 
> by Knurr (CoolTherm, http://www.thermalmanagement.de/).  The scale is 67 
> racks x 7.5kW heat removal per rack (36 U usable per rack).
> Does anyone on the list have experiences with these or similar racks 
> (you can reply to me privately if you don't want to share your 
> experiences publicly)?  I am told that there are lots of installations 
> in Europe, especially in Germany, but that the only US sites are at Penn 
> State, somewhere in the Chicago area, and U. of Vermont, and that these 
> US installations are fairly small-scale.
> The racks have front and back doors that close, and contains fans in the 
> back which circulate air through a heat exchanger located in the bottom 
> of the rack.  The heat exchanger transfers the heat into chilled water.
> The advantages of this are that it is quiet, and that you don't need 
> vertical height for underfloor ducting or overhead hot air removal. 
> Disadvantages are cost, potential difficulty of working within the rack. 
> and loss of one rack of cooling capacity if you open both the front and 
> back doors.
> (In this case I have access to 'building' funds that can not be used to 
> buy more cpus, so the cost issue is not important.)
> I would be very interested to hear about people's experiences with these 
> racks (or similar ones from another manufacturer) in an HPC environment.
> Cheers,
>     Bruce
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Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843

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