November 15, 2005 11:05 ET

Second Phase of Supercomputer Cooling Tests Using SprayCool Technology Begins at PNNL's Data Center

LIBERTY LAKE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 15, 2005 -- ISR, the maker of SprayCool™ technology and products, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have begun the second phase of head-to-head cooling tests designed to evaluate the effectiveness of SprayCool technology versus chilled-air systems.

During the first phase of the program, ISR successfully applied its SprayCool technology and demonstrated improved energy efficiency. As part of the program's second phase, a full rack of SprayCool enabled Hewlett-Packard RX2600 servers is undergoing a one-year reliability evaluation at PNNL's supercomputing data center facility in Richland, Wash.

This phase will focus on demonstrating high-density computer architectures and optimized computer boards and chassis designed for increased cooling efficiency and significantly greater processing power per unit volume than standard systems today.

The testing is being conducted under the current $1.9 million contract between PNNL and ISR, the Spokane-based company that develops and implements SprayCool technology and products. The project is part of the laboratory's Energy Smart Data Center, which is funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration at the Department of Energy.

"Supercomputers generate huge amounts of heat which must be displaced in order to reduce thermal related failures in the processors," said Moe Khaleel, director, Computational Sciences and Mathematics Division at PNNL. Most supercomputers, including those at the PNNL data center in Richland, use sophisticated air-conditioning systems.

These systems have drawbacks, despite their cooling abilities. They use a lot of energy and processors must be properly spaced to enable them to "breathe." This dramatically expands a data center's physical footprint and the larger the space, the more costly it is to build, expand and maintain.

SprayCool technology uses liquid evaporation, or phase change, of dielectric fluid to cool electronics. This provides revolutionary improvements in performance over existing cooling technology, enabling greater capabilities in electronics and facility design. A study conducted by Callison Architecture, a leader in data center design, found that data center operators see a three-fold improvement in computing power after the installation of systems that use SprayCool technology.

If the tests confirm that SprayCool technology effectively cools supercomputer processors, it could mean significant performance improvements and cost savings for future supercomputers and related data center facilities. Additionally, SprayCool enabled processors could be closely stacked, thus reducing the size of the entire computer.

"In theory, personal supercomputers could be brought to an individual desktop in the near future if cooling technology delivers improvements in space and power consumption," Khaleel said.

"We're pleased to be moving into the second phase of testing with PNNL," said Jeff Severs, president and chief executive officer of ISR. "SprayCool technology will have a significant impact on facility thermal management, energy efficiency, and total cost of ownership, and we will work closely with PNNL to meet the DOE's objectives and extend the benefits to other DOE Supercomputing facilities."

PNNL and ISR installed the SprayCool retrofitted rack of processors in the laboratory's supercomputing facility this summer. Until now, testing of the technology has been done at ISR's corporate facilities near Spokane, Wash.

About Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL ( is a DOE Office of Science laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security, the environment and life sciences by advancing the understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and computation. PNNL employs 4,000 staff, has a $700 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965.

PNNL operates an 11.8 teraflop Hewlett-Packard supercomputer with more than 2,000 processors and 6.8 terabytes of RAM -- making it one of the fastest computers in the world.

About ISR, Inc.

ISR, Inc. uses its innovative technology, SprayCool™, to revolutionize how electronics are packaged, powered and cooled. It is the leading technology that is enabling the development and delivery of electronic system solutions for problems with heat, noise, space and reliability. ISR, Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered near Spokane, Wash.

About SprayCool™ System Solutions

SprayCool System Solutions use a fine mist of liquid, sprayed in a thin layer, which evaporates, to cool electronics. The process continuously cycles within a closed loop system. SprayCool changes the geography of electronics, resulting in cooler, quieter, more powerful, and more durable electronic devices. Companies are using SprayCool System Solutions to enable the next generation of electronics.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Bob Silver
    MWW Group for ISR, Inc.
    Email Contact

    Andrea Turner
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Email Contact