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Data Centre Immersive Cooling



In November CIBSE WA Chapter held a site visit to Down Under Geosolutions (DUG) at their Kings Park Road offices in West Perth.

About 30 members attended and after being generously watered and fed by DUG staff, entered the Boardroom where Mark Lommers, the DUG Chief Engineer, gave a presentation covering the history of the Company, which started in 2003, and the development of their patented DUG Cool technology. DUG currently have four HPC centres around the world based in Perth, Houston, London and Kuala Lumpur.

The DUG Cool system uses immersion of High Performance Computing (HPC) server equipment in an inert fluid in tanks which contain cooling coils and circulating pumps. As a result of the superior heat transfer performance of the fluid as compared with air cooling of the server equipment, it stays cooler and has a higher processing capacity than in conventional air-cooled HPC servers.


The immersion fluid is cooled using conventional finned cooling coils with cooling water from a battery of compact cooling towers on the primary side so the HVAC energy is kept very low. The system is typically achieving Power Utilisation Effectiveness (PUE) coefficients of 1.03 to 1.05 which compares very favourably with Data Centre industry best practice figures of 1.15 to 1.25.

In addition the capital cost of the building and infrastructure required using DUG Cool is much lower than conventional systems and construction time is greatly reduced.

Our members were then given a guided tour through the adjacent HPC Server Room to see the HPC servers in their oil-filled tanks and to feel the texture of the cooling fluid which was somewhat similar to Baby Oil.

This was an excellent site visit and was voted by most attendees as the best event held this year and we would like to thank Chief Engineer Mark Lommers, General Manager Marie Smyth and Systems Analyst Stuart Midgley for their hospitality and for sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with us.