back to article Oil company Castrol slips and slides into immersion cooling

Castrol – the oil lubrication company – is planning to build development and test facilities for datacenter immersion cooling technology at its UK HQ to support validation programs for its products, and customers. While many will associate Castrol with car engine oil, the company has now turned its thermal management nous to …

  1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge


    GTX 20w50 probably isn't what they are using....

    1. jollyboyspecial Silver badge

      Re: Castrol

      Engine oil may have a lower thermal conductivity than water but as a coolant it has a lot of advantages. The main one being that water has a relatively low boiling point.

      I'm aware that datacentres don't generally hit over 100 degrees celsius, but if they did....

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Castrol

        Mates of mine dunked a whole PC including power supply and fans in fish tank of oil and ran it in a hacklab. Looked cool: had fake goldfish and a sunken ship.

        With current energy prices the coolant is probably worth more that all the rest of the hardware now.

      2. PRR Bronze badge

        Re: Castrol

        > Engine oil may have a lower thermal conductivity than water but as a coolant it has a lot of advantages.

        True that. The low conductivity AND capacity hardly matters if you pump fast enough. Higher temperature helps a lot too. (Why we use Glycol in all water-cool engines, even in warm climes.)

        Cars grew oil-pumps largely to carry heat out of bearings to allow more RPM and HP. Some WWII aircraft engines had massive oil cooling systems that did more than bearings. It has been said (citation needed, I know) that some Porsche engines were not so much air-cooled as oil-cooled; big air fins limit cylinder bore, more oil-cooling allowed an over-bore without major re-design.

        And it won't freeze, and won't boil bad at engine temperatures. (Another bootnote: rapid-response interceptors in cold weather speeded warm-up by dumping gasoline/petrol into the oil to thin it so the engine could be spun to start and lessen oil-drag on the climb. When engine was full-hot the gas would boil out. It was hard on engines, but not fatal; not like the other side was trying to do to you. Since CPUs seem to have spurt-burst modes, this might come around again.)

  2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


    Better be careful not to have this near any legacy spinning rust storage arrays.

    Had to be done.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: magnatec

      Sure you can! Just slow down the clock to match the slowdown of the disks from drag.

      A perfect use for relativity based computing. The sales argument: Our system works near black holes and lets information escape.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Ah yes, Castrol

    The oil that famously won't stay in the tin...

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes, Castrol

      Ayup, in 20th century cars it would not stay in the engine either. They always dripped.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Ah yes, Castrol

        Yes, but we must not forget that at the factory all engines were inspected for leaks. If they didn't have a leak, one was installed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have this picture of datacentre operators wearing scuba gear...

    1. Evil Scot

      No need to be embarrassed and post anon.

      Icon (whatever, you do you)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, all greased up and [user banned for violating rules... and good taste]

    3. NeilPost Silver badge

      Reminds me of the scene from Danny Boyle’s Si shine where the mainframe cooling has been sabotaged out of the immersion cooling pool.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge


    "OVHcloud detailed how it has developed its own cooling technology using a mix of water and immersion systems."

    Yeah, well, OVH might not want to use oil in datacentres which catch fire. :-)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: OVHcloud

      That's the trick for immersion cooling fluids: Corrosive, Flammable, Bad for environment = pick 2

  6. Bowlers

    Castrol R

    Wonderful smelling vegetable oil. I used it in my 2 stroke kart engine, then at the end a race meeting any remaining would go in the 4 stroke car tank. Couldn't afford to waste it and did smell good.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Castrol R

      Castor oil, in fact.

      Wonder where they got the name Castrol from?


  7. spireite Silver badge

    Bitcoin mining.....

    I have an Nvidia GTX that needs cooling

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