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Master's thesis: Data Centers and Liquid Cooling Technologies

The number of data centers is continuously increasing to support the increasing digitization demand and the need for data processing. The data center industry today is one of the strongest growing and is estimated to be one of the largest industries in the future.

It is estimated that up to 40% of the energy consumed in some data centers is used for cooling. Thus, the demand for efficient cooling solutions in data centers has surged with exponential growth. Traditional data centers use air as a cooling medium to keep all the IT equipment under safe temperature ranges. Currently data centers account for approximately 2% of the electrical energy consumption worldwide. Within the next few years and thanks to the development of AI applications this energy consumption is expected to increase up to 4% by 2030.

In the recent years different liquid cooling technologies have been developed to overcome this scenario. A liquid cooling technology that is gaining momentum is single-phase immersion cooling which is based on the use of dielectric liquid coolants. The IT equipment is fully submerged in this liquid which convects the heat, but the electricity is not conducted. Figure 1 presents a schematic of a server wind tunnel that can test servers in air cooled environments and an immersion system.

This is an ambitious experimental project sponsored by BP Castrol that involves working with cutting edge technologies in what is known currently to be one of the hottest industries. If you feel you need to be challenged by this unique opportunity and want to get “immersed” in liquid cooling, we would love to hear from you.

Work description
The aim of the master thesis it to evaluate the pros and cons of the two technologies (air cooling and immersion cooling) by testing real IT servers using state-of-the-art equipment. The objectives are the following:

  • Familiarization and tour of ICE data center facility.
  • Literature study of previous work finding the state of art of the cooling technologies.
  • Perform well controlled server testing under the two different cooling scenarios.
  • Perform server retrofitting to prepare the IT equipment to be used in immersion.
  • Measure compute performance, energy, and water consumption during the operational regime of the server under all scenarios using appropriate sensors and data analysis techniques.
  • Present the results and outputs for both RISE and Castrol (presentation and written report).

The master thesis work will be carried out at ICE Datacenter in Luleå during the fall of 2024, corresponding to 30 ETCs. For such an approved work, a stipendium of 30 000 SEK will be rewarded.

For more details contact Jeanette Petersson, jeanette.petersson@ri.se, 010 516 61 93.

Mattias Vesterlund, mattias.vesterlund@ri.se, 0730 – 41 86 89
Jon Summers, jon.summers@ri.se, 070 – 450 91 53

Welcome with your application
The last application date is August 31 2024.

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Job type

Student - examensarbete/praktik


Tor Björn Minde



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