The Tech Moves

Tech In The Desert: Keeping It Cool

It’s not secret that a lot of the biggest tech companies in the world call California their home. And, a lot of these companies have kept their resources at home, too. But, San Francisco isn’t known for cold weather. In fact, it’s one of the warmer cities in the world. Along with this, there seems to be a trend between big tech companies and hot places. So, just how do they get their systems cool? To help you get in the know, the post will be going through some of the methods that they use.

Cooling something down is all about moving the heat somewhere else. As we all know, from our years in physics class, you can’t destroy or generate energy; you have to transfer it. And, of course, this applies to heat. One of the least efficient ways of moving heat is using air. Whether it’s a PC or a server you’re cooling; the concept is the same. Fans will pull cold air into the server. As the air travels past heatsinks, it cools them down. But, now the air is hot. So, it has to be moved out of the server using more fans. Usually, this air is simply dumped back into the room. As time goes on, all of the air in the room will heat up. This means that the server can no longer cool down using the air around it. This is what makes air inefficient.


Most companies don’t ditch air altogether. They will still use it as their main cooling method, because it’s cheap. They may have something running alongside it. You’ve probably seen enthusiast computers with liquid cooling before. And, this idea can be translated to servers, as well. In most cases, only the hottest parts of the server will be cooled this way. Liquid cooling works in a similar way to air cooling. In fact, the liquid will most likely be cooled down by air. But, instead of the air being in the server room, it can be elsewhere. Liquid is much more effective when it comes to collecting heat than air is. So, a system using something like this will be much cooler than an air-cooled example.

The main problem with liquid cooling is the price. Building a loop inside a server room can set a company back for thousands. So, another solution needs to be used. And, when it comes to data center cooling, adiabatic systems can be the best way to go. These systems don’t just rely on simple transfers of heat; they also rely on nature. They are usually comprised of a heat-transfer coil and a jet of water. The water is sprayed onto the hot coil, making it evaporate. The process of evaporation makes a surface cooler. It’s a very similar concept to sweating. Only, it’s a server and not a person.
Hopefully, this will shed light on the lengths that companies have to go to keep their computer and server systems cool. It can be hard for a company to keep their temperatures in check; especially in hot places

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