Shell has deployed GRC immersion tanks at a data center in Houston, Texas.

The oil and gas company, which also offers its own cooling fluid, has deployed a number of clusters from Penguin Solutions utilizing AMD processors inside GRC Immersion Cooling Systems. These are housed at Element Critical's Skybox Datacenters facility in Houston, Texas, Ken Copeland, VP at GRC, posted to LinkedIn recently.

GRC Shell houston

“Each of the GRC immersion systems (S10 Duo) you see in the video has the ability to cool 200kW using warm facility water," Copeland said. "That’s up to 100kW per 42u rack with 90F water. If you have a cold water supply(~45F), you can almost double the capacity of each system. That’s a ton of compute in a small footprint. They have 1.2MW of compute in these racks.”

An AMD case study suggests Shell IT installed 864 dual-socket server systems at the site, utilizing 96-core 4th Gen AMD Epyc 9654 CPUs, for a total of 1,728 processors and 165,888 cores. The GRC video suggests at least six S10 Duo immersion tanks.

“The Shell Group has set a target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050,” Sjors van de Rijt, global head of sustainability partnerships, technology and energy, Shell Energy, said in the case study. “We play several roles on this journey. Our activities range from that of an energy producer and provider, to energy user ourselves, as well as partner for change. And it’s in support of all these activities that our HPC team in Shell IT is helping contribute to that goal. Delivering computational facilities for more efficient exploration and production of oil and natural gas is an important part of what Shell IT delivers.”

Element Critical acquired the facility from Skybox Datacenters in March 2021; Skybox remains a tenant of the site.

“Skybox Datacenters was proud to be a part of yet another high-density HPC expansion with this innovative hybrid build, featuring air-cooled, liquid to the chip and immersion in one seamless environment. It's been incredible to witness & realize the continued drive for power density in our sector,” added Skybox CEO Rob Morris.

Like many oil companies, Shell is offering immersion cooling fluids to help cool high density compute hardware. The company says its S3 X immersion cooling fluid is made from natural gas using the company’s gas-to-liquids process.

Last October, Shell Lubricants announced it was to acquire UK-based MIDEL and MIVOLT – the latter a dielectric immersion fluid) – from Manchester-based M&I Materials Ltd. November 2023 saw Shell partner with IT services provider Infosys to "accelerate adoption of immersion cooling services" for data centers.

UK data center module provider Sonic Edge recently delivered an immersion cooling pod featuring Submer cooling tanks to Castrol's Berkshire research site in the UK. Castrol is also developing its own immersion fluids.