In a kickoff meeting held with representatives of the DOE’s ARPA-E program, Flexnode was awarded a $3.5M grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a sustainable modular data center for the high performance computing future. The $3.5M grant, awarded by ARPA-E as part of a novel program called “Cooling Operations Optimized for Leaps in Energy, Reliability, and Carbon Hyper-efficiency for Information Processing Systems” (COOLERCHIPS), provides funding for Flexnode’s next-generation work in alternative cooling methods and energy-efficient platform development.
“Climate change, including severe weather events, threatens the functionality of data centers that are critical to connecting computing and network infrastructure that power our everyday lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE is funding projects that will ensure the continued operation of these facilities while reducing the associated carbon emissions to beat climate change and reach our clean energy future.”
Flexnode’s technical team for this project includes the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Energy Engineering (CEEE), Boeing, ARUP, Iceotope, and SHoP Architects. The team’s work leverages four key component and system-level technology advancements:
A novel, experimentally proven, manifold microchannel heat sink technology that gives about three times higher heat removal rates at comparable pressure drops compared to the state-of-the-art technologies;
a chassis-based novel hybrid immersion cooling approach;
a low-cost, high-performance additive manufacturing-enabled dry cooling technology;
a topology optimized container housing the entire system.
“The ARPA-E grant gives us the opportunity to push the boundaries of what is possible with cooling efficiency,” says Tarif Abboushi, Flexnode’s CTO, and the leader of its project team. Flexnode’s sustainable data center design parameters include zero net water consumption, zero global warming potential (GWP), and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) for all heat transfer fluids utilized.
The COOLERCHIPS technical evaluation panel includes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Sandia National Laboratories, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, who will evaluate Flexnode’s project performance throughout the program against its thermal, reliability, and cost objectives.
Once tested, the technology advancements from the project will be built into Flexnode’s next-gen platform of EDGE micro data centers, creating the opportunity to bring the higher performance, lower-carbon infrastructure technology to market in small footprint, “go anywhere” deployments.
Flexnode is a next-generation digital infrastructure company that provides an innovative and sustainable all-in-one lifecycle solution for data compute, storage and networking. The organization builds and operates its own platform of modular, liquid-cooled micro data center systems to support rapidly growing data demand. Using a variety of high-performance liquid-cooled platforms, Flexnode enables easy and flexible access to hyper-efficient computing virtually anywhere there is access to power and connectivity.
About ARPA-E & COOLERCHIPS
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. ARPA-E awardees are unique because they are developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy. ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas, and launched the Cooling Operations Optimized for Leaps in Energy, Reliability, and Carbon Hyperefficiency for Information Processing Systems (COOLERCHIPS) program specifically to develop transformational, highly efficient, and reliable cooling technologies for data centers.