Petronas, Iceotope Tie Up for Coolants

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Petronas, Iceotope Tie Up for Coolants
© Faiz Zaki

Malaysia’s Petronas Lubricants International has tied up with United Kingdom-based Iceotope to develop coolants for data centers, becoming the latest lube company aligning with an equipment maker for an entrée into the developing new market.

In a June 12 news release, PLI said its cooling fluid, Petronas Iona Tera, will be used for Iceotope’s precision liquid cooling solutions for data centers. Iceotope’s cooling technology uses a small quantity of the dielectric coolant to target and cool down the heat-generating components of a server, eliminating the need for conventional air-cooling systems. Such cooling systems can be advantageous to artificial intelligence data centers and high-performance computing environments where heat generation is extremely high.

Dielectric fluids are non-conductive fluids that have a variety of chemistries, from mineral oils to petrochemical synthetics to fluorinated liquids, with different properties and viscosity to meet the requirements of specific applications. In Iceotope’s system, a small quantity of dielectric coolant is precision delivered through an in-chassis manifold to the server hotspots. The coolant then cascades into the chassis to capture the heat from every component.

Petronas said it spent “nearly two years of thermal management research and development and extensive validation process, including the evaluation of different fluid chemistries and materials in laboratory conditions” to develop the final product.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to offer a significant impact by enabling improved performance for the data infrastructure sector without adversely affecting the environment. It is also a testament of progress for Petronas Lubricants International, as we endeavor to contribute to wider sectors beyond automotive,” Hezlinn Idris, Petronas’ managing director and group CEO, said in the press release.

The Iona Tera cooling fluid is part of Petronas’ Iona range, which was developed for electric vehicles’ engines, gearbox batteries and bearings and EV charging stations.

With a global explosion of data generation and AI, the number of data centers across the world has increased from 8,000 in 2021 to 10,980 in 2023, Pooja Sharma, a project manager in Kline & Co.’s Energy Practice, said during an online webinar on April 4.