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Liquid Cooling Solutions for Data Centers


Last updated Jun 8, 2024 | Published on May 23, 2022

Boyd offers end-to-end support for liquid cooling systems in data centers and colocations.

As global digitalization, artificial intelligence, and electronification rises sharply across all industries, data centers need faster, more powerful technology for increased processing and storage. Managing increased heat load from this rapid rise in processing power in a sustainable way is a top priority for hyperscale, enterprise, edge, colocation, and other data centers, which has driven many to turn to liquid cooling solutions.

Where air cooled systems used to suffice, liquid cooling systems are rising in popularity among data centers to sustainably manage increases in power while reducing carbon footprint. Boyd has years of experience designing Coolant Distribution Units (CDUs) for right–sized, efficient liquid cooling to meet the exact needs of hyperscale compute systems and provide optimal cooling performance. Boyd’s experts also offer end-to-end customized support to solve unique challenges faced by liquid cooling systems for enterprise applications.

Why Use a Coolant Distribution Unit (CDU) for Data Center Cooling?

Coolant Distribution Units are systems that enable efficient liquid cooling in a data center in row or at rack level. CDUs circulate coolant in a closed loop system to cool racks, chassis, blades, or down to the processors and memory. In data centers where conserving space is crucial, CDUs negate the need for large heat sinks, fan trays, and other necessary components in air-cooled systems, creating additional design space within a server rack to further increase power and process density. Design flexibility and customizability have made CDUs the superior option for data center liquid cooling.

There are two main types of CDUs:

In-Rack CDUs are small, can be integrated directly into a single server chassis, and distribute coolant to a series of servers or other heat sources.

An in-rack Coolant Distribution Unit


In-Row CDUs are larger, freestanding, and designed to manage higher heat loads across a series of server chassis.


Boyd’s End-to-End Liquid Cooling Support

Boyd’s service team has years of experience supporting the installation of liquid cooled systems into data centers. From initial deployment to regular maintenance, Boyd’s experts are available globally to assure peak performance for the lifespan of the device.

Boyd supports customers through every phase of liquid cooling system deployment and operation: installation, commissioning, and servicing.

Installation Support:

One of the biggest concerns when implementing a liquid cooling system is ensuring that the liquid circuit is optimally filled with coolant and all air is evacuated from the system. If excess air remains, it can collect around the pump and reduce the lifespan of components inside the circuit.

While CDUs usually include small, built-in pumps for adding additional coolant, corrosion inhibitors, or other additives, these are usually too small for initial system fill. To expedite filling the liquid circuit and minimize downtime, Boyd has a wide variety of large axillary pumps available.

For large networks requiring a high volume of coolant, our experts can bring in external pumps to efficiently move coolant throughout the system. Not only does this save crucial space within the server by eliminating a permanent pump, it also exponentially decreases the time required to initially fill the system to deploy it as quickly as possible. The larger pump also ensures that no air is left in the system to potentially cause damage to sensitive components.


Once a liquid cooling system is installed, it is critical to ensure that it is connected to the IT rack and the facility as a whole to mitigate potential problems. Boyd’s CDUs have gone through years of leak-free and condensation-free development and testing, but it is important to prepare for unlikely emergencies, like a system leak.

If there is a system leak, it is paramount to notify the CDU immediately to shut off the pump before liquid can damage any sensitive components. The CDU also needs to not only recognize that a leak occurred, but the specific location of the leak so that it can quickly be remedied.

We offer several ways to detect and prevent leaks depending on CDU construction. Built-in humidity and temperature sensors make sure that data centers operate below dew point to mitigate condensation risk on system piping. CDU lines are also insulated with inert neoprene to prevent any moisture accumulation should condensation occur.

System architects leverage wire sensors and pressure sensors to measure humidity and pressure for leak detection. For even more specificity, leak detection films can also immediately detect the location of a leak in various parts of the liquid circuit. These methods can be mixed and matched depending on the CDU construction and where the system is being installed.


Coolant Distribution Units require periodic preventative maintenance throughout the lifetime of the system to check for flow loss, pump life expectancy, power supply operation, and coolant quality.

Filters, pumps, and power supplies can be replaced proactively on a time-bound schedule or due to changes in flow or performance. To monitor coolant quality as it flows through the circuit, we can incorporate light emitting diodes (LEDs) in custom light trays along clear segments to quickly identify any foreign debris or loss of quality. If coolant needs to be replaced, topped off, or if there is any need for additives such as corrosion inhibitors, our team can quickly be on-site to fix any potential issues.

Our global presence allows us to have experts on location around the world to support needs ranging from spare part fulfillment, system service, and repair solutions to verify that our customers’ data center liquid cooling systems are performing optimally. Boyd also offers equipment and preventative maintenance training for on-site support staff.

From initial designs and deployment to proactive maintenance, Boyd’s service team has years of experience working on every aspect of custom liquid cooling solutions for data centers. Our global team looks at data center liquid cooling from an integrated perspective to lengthen system lifespans, increase overall reliability, and lower overall maintenance and repair costs.

Reach out to Boyd

To learn more about Boyd’s Coolant Distribution Units or to find out how we can tailor our service to best fit your data center requirements visit our CDU page or get in touch with our experts.

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