As technology continues to advance at a fast pace, the demand for data storage and high-performance computing continues to grow. Data center liquid cooling helps you meet LEED Platinum certification, improve operations, reduce energy use and costs, provide better reliability, increase uptime, and more.

What is a data center liquid cooling?

Data center liquid cooling is a method of managing heat from data centers. It uses an external, refrigerated liquid to cool down the internal server racks. Doing this can reduce the need for air conditioning in a data center and save on power costs.

Liquid cooling types

The most common liquid cooling method is direct expansion (DX). In this system, the coolant is pumped through coils in the air conditioner. As it passes through the coils, it absorbs heat from the equipment and becomes hot. Then, it goes into a hot water tank to cool down. Once it has been de-cooled, it goes back into the system and repeats the cycle.

There are two types of data center liquid cooling: 

  1. direct contact liquid cooling, and
  2. indirect liquid cooling.

Direct contact liquid cooling systems

The most common as they are easy to maintain and clean. Water-based coolants, such as H2O, glycol, and R410A, flow through the heat exchanger to absorb heat from the electronic devices. The coolant then flows through the radiator to release this heat into the atmosphere. The cooled coolant returns to the heat exchanger via an underfloor return system or a closed loop for continuous circulation.

Indirect liquid cooling systems

Featuring air-to-water or water-to-air heat exchange units. These units help reduce energy consumption by circulating heated air or water through a separate unit containing a series of tubes containing refrigerant or absorbent material. The heated air or water can be directed outside the data center for better space utilization, reduced noise levels, or to meet local requirements.

How does liquid cooling help you meet LEED certification?

Liquid cooling is an innovative technology that can help you meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements for data centers.

The primary benefit of liquid cooling is that it uses a closed-loop recirculation system to cool high-density servers and storage equipment, allowing for greater space utilization than other cooling systems. This will enable you to save energy by using less energy-intensive mechanical equipment to move air throughout your facility.

Further, the closed-loop system limits the amount of recirculated air, reducing your cooling costs.

Here are a few reasons liquid cooling can help you earn those extra points toward certification:

  • The most obvious advantage is that it will help reduce your data center’s overall load on the environment by reducing the amount of electricity you need to power the facility.
  • The second advantage is that a liquid cooling system will increase server density by allowing you to use fewer servers.
  • This also helps with equipment redundancy and resilience of your network since it allows you to have fewer redundant systems running simultaneously.
  • A water-cooled system will also reduce the heat your data center produces, which means that you’ll need less air conditioning or other cooling systems to keep your other equipment from overheating.
  • In many cases, installing a water-cooling system may be less expensive than using air conditioning and other traditional cooling methods.

Make your data center greener and more efficient.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that, in the United States, data centers use about 70 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually, accounting for about 2% of the nation’s total consumption. It’s not hard to see why: as new services and apps become available online.

The amount of information transmitted is skyrocketing, which means that data centers are becoming increasingly important. Unfortunately, this also means they’re becoming an increasingly significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

At companies like Facebook and Google, which rely on vast amounts of electricity to power their servers, reducing energy use has been a top priority because they know it’s essential. They’ve found innovative ways to improve efficiency and save money by using liquid cooling in data centers—it’s more efficient than the typical air conditioning system and cuts down on costs while keeping servers at cool temperatures without wasting energy.

The most extensive data center cooling and power consumption factors are temperatures, humidity (or dew point), and airflow. As temperature rises and dew point increases, more energy is required to cool the servers and keep them at optimal operating temperatures.

To address these concerns, many organizations are choosing to convert their data centers from a traditional style to a liquid-cooled design. This process involves replacing existing air cooling methods with a closed-loop system that circulates water through piping set around the servers inside the facility. This design has several advantages over standard air cooling: it allows for more efficient use of space and lowers an organization’s costs.

Before getting into how data centers are cooled, it’s essential to understand why they need to be cooled in the first place. The primary reason for cooling a data center is that there are too many components with heat-generating capabilities for the room to keep cool without active intervention.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification guidelines are stringent regarding data centers. With liquid cooling, data centers have a higher potential to meet these requirements because they have less impact on the environment than traditional air cooling. Conventional air cooling removes heat using evaporative or conductive methods, while liquid cooling uses a coolant to transport heat to a heat exchanger and outside.

To meet LEED certification guidelines, data centers must reduce their power usage by 40 percent, accomplished with liquid cooling because it requires less energy to remove heat from hardware. Liquid cooling technology makes heat removal more efficient and cost-effective than air conditioning.

A study by the Uptime Institute found that data center energy usage decreased by 84 percent when liquid cooling systems were used instead of air conditioning. In addition, data center liquid cooling require less maintenance than conventional air-cooled systems because they have fewer components that can break down or malfunction.

Read also: Green data center challenges – how they are addressed?

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