In recent years there has been a phenomenal development in cloud computing, networking, virtualization, and storage, which has increased the demand for high performance data centers. The demand for higher CPU (Central Processing Unit) performance and increasing Thermal Design Power (TDP) trends in the industry needs advanced methods of cooling systems that offer high heat transfer capabilities. Maintaining the CPU temperature within the specified limitation with air-cooled servers becomes a challenge after a certain TDP threshold. Among the equipments used in data centers, energy consumption of a cooling system is significantly large and is typically estimated to be over 40% of the total energy consumed. Advancements in Dual In-line Memory Modules (DIMMs) and the CPU compatibility led to overall higher server power consumption. Recent trends show DIMMs consume up to or above 20W each and each CPU can support up to 12 DIMM channels. Therefore, in a data center where high-power dense compute systems are packed together, it demands efficient cooling for the overall server components. In single-phase immersion cooling technology, electronic components or servers are typically submerged in a thermally conductive dielectric fluid allowing it to dissipate heat from all the electronics. The broader focus of this research is to investigate the heat transfer and flow behavior in a 1U air cooled spread core configuration server with heat sinks compared to cold plates attached in series in an immersion environment. Cold plates have extremely low thermal resistance compared to standard air cooled heatsinks. Generally, immersion fluids are dielectric, and fluids used in cold plates are electrically conductive which exposes several problems. In this study, we focus only on understanding the thermal and flow behavior, but it is important to address the challenges associated with it. The coolant used for cold plate is 25% Propylene Glycol water mixture and the fluid used in the tank is a commercially available synthetic dielectric fluid EC-100. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model is built in such a way that only the CPUs are cooled using cold plates and the auxiliary electronic components are cooled by the immersion fluid. A baseline CFD model using an air-cooled server with heat sinks is compared to the immersion cold server with cold plates attached to the CPU. The server model has a compact model for cold plate representing thermal resistance and pressure drop. Results of the study discuss the impact on CPU temperatures for various fluid inlet conditions and predict the cooling capability of the integrated cold plate in immersion environment.

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