Fuchs, Zhongding Partner on Immersion Cooling


Fuchs, Zhongding Partner on Immersion Cooling
A view of a Gigabyte two-phase immersion liquid cooling, completely submerged data center/server type computer at a trade show event. © John D. Ivanko / Alamy Stock Photo

Fuchs Lubricants China Ltd. recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Anhui Zhongding Intelligent Thermal Management Systems Co. for a long-term partnership to drive advances in immersion liquid cooling technology and develop thermal management solutions for data centers, new energy vehicles and energy storage systems.

Immersion systems dielectrically cool all parts of data processors, including motherboards, chipsets and wires. Fluids extract heat from the system. On the NEVs side, lubricants companies are making dielectric fluids that – because they do not pass an electric charge – enable an immersion cooling system for an electric vehicles’ battery pack, in which the batteries are stored in a casing flooded with fluid.

According to a Jan. 11 press release, Zhongding iTMS has made breakthroughs in the application of its liquid immersion cooling technology as a pioneer in thermal management for Zhongding Group. The companies said that the partnership will facilitate consensus on products, thermal management systems and market applications in new areas and allow the two companies to work closely together to provide high-quality technologies, products and services for data centers, energy storage and NEV customers.

“Fuchs is committed to providing customers in the energy storage and data center industries with high-quality, high-performance immersion thermal management products and integrated lubrication solutions,” Fuchs China CEO Zhu Qingping said in the press release. “With Zhongding iTMS as a key strategic partner, we will continue to leverage our technological strengths and work closely with them to drive industry innovation and deliver safer, more efficient and more reliable products and technologies for the energy storage and data center industries.”

Wang Xinyun, general manager of Zhongding iTMS, noted that rapid advances in energy storage systems and data centers are an inevitable trend in an era defined by smart technologies and electrification. He noted that efficient immersion liquid cooling systems are becoming a mainstream option, guided by China’s dual-carbon goals and that Zongding iTM landed its first order in January for an immersion liquid cooling system for energy storage systems, for which the company chose to use Fuchs lubricants. “Simultaneously, we will work with Fuchs on an immersion liquid cooling system for data centers,” he said. “We are confident in our future and will work together to implement our shared vision with concrete actions.”

The market for data center immersion cooling fluids is projected to grow about tenfold through 2032, a Kline & Co. official said in a webinar last April about its study on the topic, spurred by findings that operational improvements can more than cover the cost of large data centers switching from air to immersion cooling.

Demand for such fluids is currently very small but should exceed 250,000 metric tons by 2032, Pooja Sharma, a project manager in Kline & Co.’s Energy Practice, said during the online webinar last year. Most of that growth is expected to occur after 2027, she said, when server manufacturers recommend immersion coolant specifications for servers.

To-date, according to Kline’s findings, two categories of immersion cooling fluids exist – synthetic and biobased. Synthetics include gas-to-liquid hydrocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, polyalphaolefins and esters. Among the companies supplying such products so far have been Shell and BP’s Castrol. Suppliers of biobased fluids have included TotalEnergies and Cargill. 3M was once an important supplier of hydrofluorocarbon immersion coolants, but the company has since announced its exit from the business.

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