DownUnder GeoSolutions Dives Into Liquid Submersion Cooling

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imgresToday Green Revolution Cooling announced the latest installation of its CarnotJet System at the Australian geosciences company DownUnder GeoSolutions. The liquid submersion cooling system manufactured by Green Revolution Cooling will be used to cool a supercomputing cluster installed in partnership with OEM provider SGI. DownUnder GeoSolutions will use the new cluster to provide exploration and production services to the Oil and Gas industry.

DUG has invested heavily in our high performance computing resources, becoming the largest commercial user of Intel Xeon Phi co-processors in the world,” said Stuart Midgley, Chief Technical Officer of DownUnder GeoSolutions. “The 3800 Phi’s combined with the Intel Xeon E5-2600V2 CPUs provide 8PFlops of compute power and generate a massive amount of heat. Cooling a system of this size in a reliable, cost effective and environmentally sustainable way is of paramount importance to us. Any disruption to our data processing can delay client projects worth millions of dollars. That is why we choose the Green Revolution Cooling system. It is reducing our cooling energy consumption by up to 90%, bringing down our total energy cost by around 35%. The new system has proven to be exceptionally reliable and promises to increase the mean time between failures.”

Standard-42U-Quad-Rack-PM_2550x863_MAX_300DPI_BG-BDBWFL-1-1024x346Oil and Gas exploration has always been a capital-intensive process, but with the advent of modern sensing and computer-based modeling techniques, geoscience companies like DownUnder GeoSolutions are helping significantly reduce costs by increasing the probability of finding hydrocarbon reserves. The growing popularity of these techniques has fueled the rapidly growing demand for supercomputers in the Oil and Gas industry.
While supercomputers are saving significant amounts of time, effort, and energy compared to more traditional methods, the systems themselves require significant amounts of energy for power and cooling. The energy spent on cooling a supercomputing cluster can often be as high as that spent on running it. This growing burden of energy costs, along with the recent drop in oil prices, is adding significant downward pressure on margins across the Oil and Gas industry. Newer technologies such as immersion cooling for computing clusters can cut costs dramatically.

Green Revolution Cooling’s innovative approach completely immerses servers in tanks filled with a mineral oil-based coolant called ElectroSafe. The non-toxic, clear, and odorless coolant is an electrical insulator but a good conductor of heat making it ideal for cooling servers and other IT equipment.

Nobody understands the favorable properties of mineral oil [for cooling servers] quite like geosciences companies,” said Christiaan Best, CEO and Founder of Green Revolution Cooling. “Using high efficiency, oil cooling for supercomputers aids more efficient exploration helping reduce capital expenditures and ongoing operating costs for these firms. We are proud to have DownUnder GeoSolutions onboard as another satisfied customer.”

Historically, mineral oils have found similar applications in the electrical and automotive fields. Its use as a coolant and electrical insulator in liquid-filled transformers is well documented and dates back more than a century. Green Revolution Cooling’s CarnotJet System has adapted this technology to tackle the challenges of growing energy costs in today’s data centers.

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