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NEC Develops Energy-Saving Cooling Technology for Data Centers

NEC logoNEC Corporation has developed a multi-stage cooling technology that removes the heat generated by equipment mounted on racks installed in data centers. The technology could reduce air conditioning power consumption by up to 50 percent, says the company.

NEC applies phase change cooling technology that it previously developed and installs it in information communications technology (ICT) devices to achieve efficient cooling to racks on which multiple ICT devices are mounted.

Phase change cooling utilizes a phenomenon that occurs when a coolant changes from liquid to vapor or from vapor to liquid, causing the movement of a large amount of heat, according to NEC.

The company is able to reduce the air conditioning load inside server rooms because the heat from devices is collected before it’s dispersed and is transported outside the server room. Recent tests conducted at a NEC facility with 10 servers demonstrated that when power consumption per rack is 12 kW, about 50 percent of the heat exhausted from the back of a rack was transported to the outside.

Applying this technology, data center operators could increase the number of ICT devices they mount on racks without raising the air conditioning power. This also allows data centers to substantially improve their processing abilities without having to increase their floor area, as well as to achieve space-saving data center operations.

NEC has also developed a technology used to distribute and circulate coolant through each level of a multi-stage rack based on the amount of heat generated. The flow path design allows the appropriate amount of coolant to be supplied to each level through natural circulation.

NEC says its technology uses a coolant with an ozone depletion potential of zero and a global warming potential of less than one half of conventional products such as HFCs.

This new cooling technology was developed using some of the research results attained through the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s (NEDO) “Research and Development Project for Green Network/System Technology” in which NEC participated from 2008 to 2012.

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