MALIBU, Calif. August 1, 2023— HRL Laboratories, LLC, has been chosen to receive an upcoming funding award to develop a heat-management system for next-generation data centers with the goal of reducing energy consumption by 90% compared with current data center cooling systems.
HRL’s Aligned-Graphite Microchannel Cooling (AGMC) project will be launched under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program COOLERCHIPS, an acronym for Cooling Operations Optimized for Leaps in Energy, Reliability, and Carbon Hyper-efficiency for Information Processing Systems. Data centers in the near future are expected to be more powerful and generate greater heat output than ever before. Such facilities will need innovations in thermal management that feature increased energy efficiency, performance, and reliability while reducing environmental impact.
“The goal of this project is to develop enabling technology and a prototype system that can eventually be commercialized, scaled up, and subsequently widely deployed,” said Christopher Roper, HRL’s principal investigator on AGMC. “In wide use our proposed technology could reduce US energy consumption by 22-28 terawatt-hours per year, or up to 0.7% of all US power consumption. Obviously that amount of energy savings could enable greatly needed expansion of next-generation data storage and accessibility while easing strain on the power grid.”
Roper went on to say that HRL’s proposed system will leverage mature components such as coolant delivery units, dry-break fluid connections, flow manifolds, and dry-coolers to ensure high reliability, and the system’s coolant will have zero global warming and ozone depletion potential.
“We have extensive experience using additively manufactured materials for thermal management applications, which will be integral to this system,” Roper said. “We expect the project to demonstrate low thermal resistance cooling of a high power-density server rack that incorporates the cost-efficient AGMC blocks. We will then be in a position to transition the technology to market through our subcontracting partner.”
HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (hrl.com) is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.
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