Energy Performance Testing of Asetek's RackCDU System at NREL's High Performance Computing Data Center

David Sickinger, Otto Van Geet, Chris Ravenscroft

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In this study, we report on the first tests of Asetek's RackCDU direct-to-chip liquid cooling system for servers at NREL's ESIF data center. The system was simple to install on the existing servers and integrated directly into the data center's existing hydronics system. The focus of this study was to explore the total cooling energy savings and potential for waste-heat recovery of thiswarm-water liquid cooling system. RackCDU captured up to 64% of server heat into the liquid stream at an outlet temperature of 89 degrees F, and 48% at outlet temperatures approaching 100 degrees F. This system was designed to capture heat from the CPUs only, indicating a potential for increased heat capture if memory cooling was included. Reduced temperatures inside the servers caused all fansto reduce power to the lowest possible BIOS setting, indicating further energy savings potential if additional fan control is included. Preliminary studies manually reducing fan speed (and even removing fans) validated this potential savings but could not be optimized for these working servers. The Asetek direct-to-chip liquid cooling system has been in operation with users for 16 months with nonecessary maintenance and no leaks.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages43
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-2C00-62905


  • Asetek
  • cooling system
  • data centers
  • direct-to-chip liquid cooling system
  • ESIF


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