[Beowulf] 'liquid cooled' racks

Richard Walsh rbw at ahpcrc.org
Tue Dec 5 10:11:07 PST 2006

Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 04, 2006 at 09:13:38AM -0600, Eric Shook wrote:
>> Hi Bruce,
>> Our University is also looking into these racks.  We have also looked at 
>> other vendors with similar liquid cooling and something called 
>> "Spraycool" technology (limited in deployment) among others.  I would 
>> also be interested in the information you collect on or off the list and 
>> would be willing to share some information.
> The only things I know that used spraycool technology were big machines 
> like Crays and ?? Thinking Machines ?? which dunked circuit boards in 
> freon and sprayed the liquid to keep it moving. Surely they can't have 
> revived that :)
> AndyC

In case there is interest ...

A "spray-cool" technology is the approach taken currently in the Cray 
X1.  The liquid
is a high-heat capacity fluoro-carbon, fairly inert, very expensive, but 
nasty if it starts to
burn.  One of the key innovations on the Cray X1 is that the circuits 
are "on the ceiling"
so to speak and sprayed from below.  The fluid is gravity collected and 
cycled up again.

A "spray-cooled" rack would seem to require hermetic enclosure at some 
level if the same
liquid were used.  



Richard B. Walsh

"The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one
 perceived. The subject and object are but one."

Erwin Schroedinger

Project Manager
Network Computing Services, Inc.
Army High Performance Computing Research Center (AHPCRC)
rbw at ahpcrc.org  |  612.337.3467

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