Nanofluid tapped to cool servers

Scientists at Sweden’s Institute of Technology have developed a nanofluid solution that could eventually be used to cool massive data centers and server farms.

Indeed, researcher Mamoun Muhammed told CNN that his team had experimented with various nanoparticles, but the ones currently showing the most potential are oxides of metals such as zinc and copper. 

However, carbon nanotubes are also in the process of being tested.

“Nanofluids are engineered to contain nanoparticles dispersed in such a way that the liquid’s capability to move heat is much enhanced compared to normal cooling fluids,” explained Muhammed.

“For example, if you are using water to cool electronic equipment and you add these nanoparticles and create a nanofluid, it improves the water’s capability to conduct heat by 30 to 40 percent.”

According to Muhammed, nanofluids could also help companies optimize their business, in addition to significantly reducing carbon emissions.

“Companies will be saving the cost of cooling; secondly, their electronics will function better at lower temperatures and thirdly, it is greener technology, we are using less energy.

“[So], I think within 3 to 7 years we [can] expect to see a breakthrough and a mainstream application of this nanofluid technology. [Of course], the problem is finding just what is the ideal concentration of which particle.

“But when this technology reaches a level when it is ready for the market it will provide real savings for business at very little extra cost up front.”