Some pretty smart folk from Sweden's Institute of Technology recently discovered that if you add nanoparticles to water, you can significantly improve its ability to conduct heat to the tune of 60 percent. This discovery could be a boon to server farms, which are notorious power hogs because of the level of power needed to keep everything chilly, or at least from burning up.
"What we are using are nanofluids, which are fluids engineered to contain nanoparticles dispersed in such a way that the liquid's capability to move heat is much enhanced compared to normal cooling fluids," said Mamoun Muhammed, Sweden's Institute of Technology.
"For example, if you are using water to cool electronic equipment and you add these nanoparticles, and create a nanofluid, it improves the water's capability to conduct heat by 30 to 40 percent."
The benefits here are threefold, says Muhammed. First, companies will save a bundle on the cost of cooling. Second, their electronics will perform better as a result of the lower temps. And finally, nanofluids represent a greener technology than current cooling methods.
"I think within 3 to 7 years we could expect to see a breakthrough and a mainstream application of this nanofluid technology," Muhammed added.