Iceotope Raises $10 Million For Liquid Cooling In Data Centres

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The tiny start-up from Sheffield is making waves in the liquid cooling market

Sheffield-based liquid cooling specialist Iceotope has raised $10 million (£6.1m) in a Series A funding round, led by Aster Capital and Ombu Group.

As part of the deal, the company has also announced a strategic partnership with the French energy management company Schneider Electric – which is also one of the world’s leading manufacturers of modular, container-based data centres.

“This really is the deal of the century for us,” said Iceotope founder and CEO Peter Hopton. “As a start-up in the north of England, it’s fantastic that Iceotope’s technology has attracted the investment of an international consortium. We strongly believe that our technology has the potential to revolutionise the HPC and data centre industry and we’re thrilled that it’s not gone unnoticed.”

Cool water

Technology developed by Iceotope works by wrapping each server blade in a metal case filled with an inert dielectric oil which cools the electronics through direct contact. A low-energy pump drives a secondary coolant circuit in which water removes the heat from the modules.

Iceotope TowerThis solution doesn’t require computer room air conditioning units, humidity control systems or air purification, and helps avoid the costs and carbon emissions associated with the need to cool the entire data centre.

The company, which has less than 20 employees, installed its first system in 2012, and has since attracted interest from all over Europe. Iceotope says the global IT infrastructure accounts for ten percent of all electricity consumed on earth (TechWeek more often hears estimates around two percent), much of it devoured by data centres. Iceotope claims its method cuts server energy use in half, solving a problem that is going to get increasingly serious as the time goes by.

The funding will help the company hire more staff, expand into new territories and add new products to its current ecosystem.

“We have been looking at various technical approaches to liquid cooling for years and concluded that Iceotope has created a scheme that addresses performance and user experience expectations,” commented John Bean, director of R&D for data centre cooling at Schneider Electric.

“We have been impressed by the effort and the progress made by the Iceotope team in the last couple of years and we envision that, thanks to our corporate sponsors, especially Schneider Electric and Solvay, we will be able to strongly support Iceotope development and make it the future liquid cooling market leader within HPC and data centre markets,” added Jean-Marc Bally, managing partner at Aster Capital.

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