[Beowulf] Power per area

Scott Atchley e.scott.atchley at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 12:36:42 PDT 2020

Hi everyone,

I am wondering whether immersion cooling makes sense. We are most limited
by datacenter floor space. We can manage to bring in more power (up to 40
MW for Frontier) and install more cooling towers (ditto), but we cannot
simply add datacenter space. We have asked to build new building and the
answer has been consistently "No."

Summit is mostly water cooled. Each node has cold plates on the CPUs and
GPUs. Fans are needed to cool the memory and power supplies and is captured
by rear-door heart exchangers. It occupies roughly 5,600 ft^2. With 200 PF
of performance and 14 MW of power, that is 36 TF/ft^2 and 2.5 kW/ft^2.

I am wondering what the comparable performance and power is per square foot
for the densest, deployed (not theoretical) immersion cooled systems. Any

To make the exercise even more fun, what is the weight per square foot for
immersion systems? Our data centers have a limit of 250 or 500 pounds per
square foot. I expect immersion systems to need higher loadings than that.


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