Shell unveils innovative cooling fluids for data centres
Photo courtesy of Shell

Shell unveils innovative cooling fluids for data centres

Shell Lubricants has launched a new line of single-phase immersion cooling fluids, marking a significant stride in enhancing the energy efficiency of data centres. The innovative products are designed to cool computer components effectively, contributing to reduced energy consumption and decreased carbon dioxide emissions. The introduction of these fluids is aligned with the growing demand for sustainable solutions in the data-intensive technology sector, including the Internet, cloud and edge computing, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics.

The cooling fluids are a product of Shell’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) process, derived from natural gas. These synthetic, colourless, and odourless fluids are biodegradable and are known for their stability, performance, and material compatibility. Shell produces GTL fluids at its Pearl GTL plant in Qatar. The Pearl GTL plant is a partnership between Qatar Petroleum and Shell and is one of the world’s largest GTL plants. It is located in Ras Laffan Industrial City in the north of Qatar. The plant converts natural gas into clean-burning GTL diesel and other liquid fuels, base oils for lubricants, naphtha, and normal paraffin, which are then used to create a range of high-quality, advanced products.

“We believe Shell’s immersion cooling technology is an essential piece of the puzzle in tackling data centre energy use that will be key to helping customers deliver on their sustainability commitments,” said Mansi Tripathy, vice president, Shell Lubricants for Asia Pacific.

Data centres are notorious for their energy consumption, accounting for approximately 1% of the global electricity use. A significant portion of this energy is dedicated to cooling electrical components. Shell’s immersion cooling technology, showcased in its high-performance computing cluster at Skybox, a U.S.-based data centre operating on 100% renewable power, exemplifies an integrated, optimised, and scalable solution for energy efficiency.

The immersion cooling solution, implemented in Shell’s HPC cluster in Amsterdam, is helping Shell deliver high-end processing power while reducing its energy consumption within a T-Systems managed data centre. T-Systems managed data centres are facilities that meet the highest security and management standards, providing a secure environment for data storage and management. These data centres are located in various places, including Munich, Frankfurt, and Magdeburg/Biere, in Germany. T-Systems offers co-location services for operating data centres, ensuring that clients’ data is securely managed and accessible. 

Shell Lubricants is also looking to work with key players in the data centre ecosystem in Asia—such as tank original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), system integrators, data centre owners and co-locators—for proof-of-concepts with its immersion cooling fluids to meet next-generation computing requirements.