Castrol plans data centre immersion cooling facilities build

Castrol has announced its plans to build new testing facilities for new immersion cooling technologies, plus other critical data centre infrastructure

Castrol - a world-leading oil supplier and lubricant manufacturer - has announced its plans to build new state-of-the-art immersion cooling development and test facilities for data centres. 

The facilities will be located at its global headquarters in Pangbourne, UK. 

This commitment comes as part of bp’s recent announcement of its investment plans, which will see up to £50mn in funding for a new battery test centre and analytical laboratories at the site. 

The plans for Castrol’s new build

The new facility will help Castrol’s thermal management experts to accelerate the development of advanced immersion fluid technologies, designed to be deployed in data centres and IT/communications infrastructure. 

For the new testing site, Castrol built on its existing collaboration with Submer. 

Within the site, Castrol will install Submer’s SmartPod and MicroPod tank systems, which have been adapted to test new fluids and new server equipment.

Working to improve energy efficiency across the data centre industry 

Through this collaboration, the companies are working to accelerate the adoption and development of immersion cooling technology, as a more sustainable solution for data centre operations. 

As of 2020, data centres were responsible for over 2% of the world’s total energy consumption. 

With this figure only set to grow, the industry is prioritising energy efficiency solutions more than ever before. And, with data centre cooling representing around 40% of an average site’s total energy consumption, this aspect of operations is a prime target for improving sustainability standards and future-proofing the sector.

To this aim, Castrol’s new testing facilities will also be used to develop and test methods that will capture and reuse the otherwise-wasted heat from data centres, thereby further improving operational efficiency.

“Immersion-cooled data centres could bring huge gains in performance and big reductions in energy wasted in cooling,” commented Rebecca Yates, bp’s Technology Vice President for Advanced Mobility and Industrial Products.

“Together, Submer and Castrol aim to deliver sustainable solutions as demand for computer power continues to surge. This investment in proven Submer systems is a key step towards joint development with the goal of enhancing performance and improving data centre sustainability even further through integrated energy solutions.”

“Castrol’s investment in Submer’s systems is the next step in our joint mission to accelerate the adoption of immersion cooling technology within the IT industry,” added Daniel Pope, Co-Founder and CEO of Submer. 

“The combined expertise of Submer and Castrol aims to provide evidence of how the technology can enhance performance, efficiency and deliver environmental benefits. We look forward to working with Castrol and the wider-bp to help the industry become more sustainable.” 

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