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The PIC installs new cooling system using oils

The PIC computer equipment is submerged in tanks filled with mineral oil. The new system may represent up to €140,000 in savings yearly. This cooling system is on average 40% more efficient than those in other data centres around the world.


The new cooling system, known as CarnotJet System, consists of two modules formed by two tanks each containing a mineral oil into which the equipment is submerged. These equipments can be found at the data processing centre of the Scientific Information Port, located at the UAB. The system also includes three air coolers installed on the roof of the building.
The computer equipment is submerged in the liquid which is kept at a temperature of 45-50ºC. Given the high calorific capacity, this mineral oil stores the heat generated by the equipment. It is then pumped out to a heat exchanger connected to a water circuit flowing at a maximum temperature of 40ºC. The water circuit is able to transfer the heat to the environment and since it needs no water cooling system, the energy saved is greater than that saved with traditional cooling systems.
The cooling system of the PIC equipment is on average 40% more efficient than those in other data centres around the world (according to the Uptime Institute, which calculates Power Usage Effectiveness average at 1.7 globally
Some ten equipments (equivalent to around 10kW of electrical power) would be able to save approximately €8,000 annually by using this cooling system versus data centres which use traditional air cooling systems. In the case of the PIC, with a total power capacity of 190kW, yearly savings could reach up to €140,000.
Services at the PIC centre are shared by different scientific projects under one same infrastructure. This helps to make profitable the investment in energy efficiency and management of these services and facilities.
The investment in infrastructure made by the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) was possible thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
The Scientific Information Port (PIC)
The PIC (Port d'Informació Científic) centre is a scientific-technological department of the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE), created thanks to a collaboration between the IFAE and the CIEMAT. It is located at the UAB's Computer Systems building and its goal is to give support to basic and applied research by providing large storage capacity and processing scientific data. The centre's activities are well-known in both Europe and other parts of the world, with many collaborations with CERN, ESA and other entities.
The Data Processing Centre (CPD) of the IFAE contains a calculation cluster of approximately 400 calculation servers (4600 processors) and a massive hierarchical storage service on disk and magnetic tape with a total capacity of approximately 18 petabytes to manage and process data from the projects. Due to the requirements of the projects at the centre, there is the need to increase the capacity of these services every year and introduce energy efficiency improvements with the aim of minimising electricity costs.
The Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE) is a consortium formed by the Government of Catalonia and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. It is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence and affiliated to the UAB as a University Institute.