Five Barriers to Adoption of Liquid Cooling in Data Centers

With the rise in the use of technologies like the Internet of Things, AI, Machine Learning and more, the amount of data created by us has also increased. It has become a burning concern for data centers and IT solution companies to solve the issue of rising power densities and high wattages faced due to increased demand for more storage space by firms and corporations. More data means more heat release which means more uncalculated risks to equipment. To protect the equipment from excessive heat damage, data centers use cooling solutions. Since the demand for efficient data storage solution is on the rise, IT technicians are forced to look for alternative solutions to cool the data center. They are on a constant lookout for more efficient and cost-effective cooling technologies that are flexible too.

Liquid cooling is one of those solutions that have attracted the interest of many IT solution consulting companies and data center operators. Since the technology of liquid cooling is relatively new in the market, only 14 percent of data operators are using it. But given the rising concerns of power densities and other factors, the scenario is destined to change as more and more firms would make the switch from air cooling to liquid cooling. As MRC’s statistic research, the global market for liquid cooling will rise to $ 4.55 billion by the year 2023.

But in spite of all the advantages that liquid cooling presents, the technology has yet to overcome several challenges.

What Are the Challenges to Adoption?

Is it the most prominent challenge surfaced by liquid-cooling systems. Usually, the data centers operators are supposed to have their own IT equipment to get the liquid cooling system installed in their centers. Since technological advancements are rare on data centers, it makes installation of cooling equipment more complex.

Potential leaks: There is no denying the fact that every technology has a flaw. With the liquid cooling, the possibility of liquid leaking has made the many companies to avoid it. In case of a leak, the liquid, depending on its type can cause a catastrophic hazard to the equipment and risk the safety of the data center. Besides this, corrosion is a significant risk factor associated with leaks.

Safety risks: Safety concerns are a significant factor that has made many companies hesitant to adopt liquid cooling. The danger of electrocution is a major concern with leaks. Furthermore, there is an increased risk of slip due to water lodging.

Operational complexity: Operational complexity is another major hindrance to adopting the technology of liquid cooling. Many data centers find it difficult to incorporate technologies that are new and complicated. Since introducing liquid cooling into their systems mean using various components, it increased the points of failure. This increases the responsibility of managing these systems and components.

Capital costs: The installation of liquid cooling technologies involves a high cost of capital investment as compared to the existing cooling systems. Although the efficiency liquid cooling system offers reduced operational costs, it still requires considerable investment for initial installation.