Castrol to build immersion cooling development and test facilities
Photo courtesy of Castrol

Castrol to build immersion cooling development and test facilities

Castrol plans to build new state-of-the-art immersion cooling development and test facilities for data centres at its global headquarters in Pangbourne, UK. This commitment is part of bp’s recent announcement of plans to invest up to GBP50 million (USD56 million) to establish a new battery test centre and analytical laboratories at the UK site.

The new facility will help Castrol’s thermal management experts to accelerate the development of advanced immersion fluid technologies specifically for data centres and information technology (IT)/communications infrastructure. It will also support test and validation programs for customers and partners.

Building on its existing collaboration with Submer, a leader in immersion cooling technology, Castrol plans to install Submer’s SmartPod and MicroPod tank systems that have been adapted to test new fluids and new server equipment. 

Earlier this year both companies agreed to work together on accelerating the adoption and development of immersion cooling technology as a path to more sustainable data centre operations. This announcement will help both parties to intensify their collaboration and strengthen joint development programs. The facilities will be used to develop and test methods to capture and reuse the heat from data centre operations to further increase operational efficiency.

“Immersion cooled data centres could bring huge gains in performance and big reductions in energy wasted in cooling. Together, Submer and Castrol aim to deliver sustainable solutions as demand for computer power continues to surge. This investment in proven Submer systems is a key step towards joint development with the goal of enhancing performance and improving data centre sustainability even further through integrated energy solutions.” Rebecca Yates, bp’s Technology vice president, advanced mobility and industrial products.

“Castrol’s investment in Submer’s systems is the next step in our joint mission to accelerate the adoption of immersion cooling technology within the IT industry. The combined expertise of Submer and Castrol aims to provide evidence of how the technology can enhance performance, efficiency and deliver environmental benefits. We look forward to working with Castrol and the wider-bp to help the industry become more sustainable.” said Daniel Pope, co-founder and CEO, Submer.

The acceleration of Castrol’s ambitions in immersion cooling are aimed at supporting the data centre sector’s increasing ambitions to reduce its environmental footprint. According to the International Energy Agency, data centre operations together with the data transmission network are responsible for more than 2% of the global electricity consumption in 2020.  With sizable growth expected in the industry, this share is expected to rise. The energy required for the cooling of a data centre makes up close to 40% of the total energy consumed. To operate data centres sustainably, efficient cooling is key. 

Immersion cooling can also help reduce the water consumption of data centres, which is of increasing importance. Accelerating the adoption of immersion cooling fits with Castrol’s PATH360 sustainability framework, which aims to reduce energy, waste and water and help its commercial customers meet their sustainability goals. 

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