Japan, which was hit hard by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, followed by a subsequent nuclear plant meltdown, knows all too well the foils of a tumultuous environment. Thus, the country finds itself at the forefront of solving perhaps the biggest problem of the digital economy, namely the difficulty in cooling energy-eating supercomputers and servers.
Some corporate data centers post annual electric bills in the hundreds of millions, primarily to run the air conditioning that cools their computer hardware. Curbing the amount of energy used by supercomputers has the potential to considerably reduce the overall environmental impact of these machines.
But companies like Green Revolution Cooling, which developed the mineral oil cooling technology, or Iceotope, an English company that uses liquid fluoroplastic, are committed to the far more environmentally friendly technique of simply submerging the devices. Since neither of the substances used by these companies are good conductors of electricity, there is little to no risk of damaging the equipment by submerging it. In fact, Intel ran a one-year study of one of the devices cooled by Green Revolution, and there was no damage found.