Revolutionizing Data Centers with Low Carbon Liquid Cooling System: Submer 💻🌏

April 12, 2024

“The immersion cooling is the only technology that will enable us to meet the European goals in energy efficiency and CO₂ reduction”- Daniel Pope , Pol Valls Soler Co-founders of Submer

Watch the full interview with Submer’s co-founder Pol Valls Soler and Chief Sustainability Officer, Nathalie Cruchet here ▶️

Powering Human Progress, Polluting the Planet

The rise of digitalization has brought forth a pressing sustainability issue: the resource consumption of data centers. Digital pollution from data centers in the form of greenhouse gas emissions now generates 50% more emissions than global air transport, with projections indicating a potential doubling of these emissions within the next two years (The Shift Project, 2023). Shockingly, data centers account for 45% of the IT sector's greenhouse gas emissions (Statista, 2024). Their environmental footprint extends beyond emissions; a small 1MW data center consumes a staggering 25 million liters of water annually, while 98% of the energy consumed is rejected as heat into the atmosphere (smart water magazine).

Negative impact of data centers

Evolving Landscape of Data Centers

In today's landscape, where AI and social media consumption are skyrocketing, the demand for data centers is reaching unprecedented levels. The average person spends 145 minutes (BACKLINKO) per day on social media alone, necessitating immense computational power. Chipmakers are focusing on higher power densities, leading to thermal challenges for IT system builders and customers. The projected increase in data center demand from 17GW in 2022 to 35GW by 2023 highlights the urgency for sustainable solutions (McKinsey&Company).

Under the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EUR-Lex), data center owners and operators face stringent reporting requirements, driving the need for more responsible energy management and the adoption of renewable energy sources. This directive emphasizes heat reuse, an aspect often overlooked despite its potential benefits in reducing environmental impact.

Outlook of data centers industry

Beyond Fans: Dunking Servers to Make Cooling Radically Efficient

Enter Submer, pioneering immersion cooling technology as a sustainable solution for data centers. The Spanish company has developed a new way to store and cool servers. It dunks them in an eco-friendly chemical that the company’s founders have designed and stores them in specialized containers.

This is called an immersion cooling system, and the market is at a growth rate of 22% CAGR (Grand View Research), as it offers a myriad of benefits both financial and environmental.


With growing concerns around global water scarcity, data centres must prioritise efficient water usage.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that half the world's population will face severe water scarcity by 2030, and a 40% shortfall in freshwater resources is expected (IPCC). Data centres contribute significantly to this challenge, with a single 1MW facility consuming an estimated 6.6 million litres (1.75 million gallons) of water annually (Smart Water Magazine).  

Immersion cooling offers a compelling solution to reduce this environmental impact (IOPscience). This technology can achieve:

  • Immersion can deliver zero direct water consumption through dry cooling.
  • Overall datacenter energy efficiency reduces indirect water consumption associated with energy production.

(Source: Submer, 2023)

Energy Efficiency:

Data centers are a vital component of our digital world, but their energy consumption is a growing concern. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that data centers accounted for roughly 1-1.3% of global electricity demand in (IEA). Notably, the combined electricity usage by major tech companies more than doubled between 2017 and 2021, reaching approximately 72 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2021 (IEA). With Submer’s solution, data centers can reduce energy consumptions up to 35%.

Immersion helps by reducing the energy consumption of IT equipment & cooling systems:

  • While the energy consumed by a data centre using air cooling is rejected as heat into the atmosphere, with immersion you have the opportunity for heat reuse.  
  • Immersion cooling irradiates <2% of heat into the data hall.
  • Customers can maximize their IT efficiency, since immersion cooling requires no fans, and decreases server leakage current by ∼5% (5-7% of a server’s energy (ResearchGate))

(Source: Submer, 2023)

Optimized Space:

Minimizing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a top priority for all data center stakeholders. While some may consider raising ambient data hall temperatures to achieve a lower Power Usage Effectiveness (lower PUE), this approach can negatively impact server performance and reliability. This trade-off highlights the need for more sustainable solutions that don't compromise IT equipment health.

Furthermore, securing suitable data center locations is becoming increasingly difficult. Stringent regional regulations, particularly regarding resource consumption and utility access, are limiting the availability of viable sites for new data centers.

(Source: Submer, 2023)

Circularity Impact:

As demand for data centers and technology continues to rise, so too does the strain on critical resources. Scarcity is a growing concern, particularly for materials containing rare earth elements.  These concerns are compounded by controversies surrounding energy use and labor practices associated with resource extraction.

Immersion cooling offers a compelling solution by promoting reuse, repurposing, and future-proofing of data center resources:

  • By eliminating airborne contaminants and maintaining consistent temperatures, immersion cooling significantly extends Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of IT equipment. This reduces the need for frequent hardware refresh cycles, diverting end-of-life (EOL) equipment from landfills and minimizing environmental impact.
  • Existing data centers can be retrofitted with immersion cooling systems, enabling them to operate with minimal water consumption and a fraction of the energy previously required.

(Source: Submer, 2023)

A diagram of energy savingsDescription automatically generated
Submer's Substantial Sustainability Contribution

Bridging Impact and ESG: Submers Holistic Sustainability Strategy

Submer stands out as a leading impact company, tackling the global sustainability challenge of greening data centers. This success is further bolstered by the backing of impact investors like Norrsken VC and Planet First Partners, aligning with the highest disclosure standards (Article 9) of the Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation.

Achieving impact is not always synonymous with strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance. Submer has demonstrably mastered both aspects. Nathalie Cruchet , Submer's Chief Sustainability Officer, has spearheaded the creation of department-specific sustainability KPIs. This collaborative approach ensures continuous improvement across all ESG domains.

For instance, the chemicals department is focused on developing a more circular and sustainable coolant solution. The accounting department is integrating environmental impact considerations into their systems, while procurement has established a robust due diligence process for a responsible supply chain.

Furthermore, Submer prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) under the leadership of Chief People Officer Caroline Morales . Through dedicated workshops and revised hiring policies, Submer ensures diverse candidate pools and inclusive hiring practices. These initiatives, combined with strong environmental stewardship, solidify Submer's position as a true leader in sustainable business practices.

Mundi Ventures has been supporting Submer since its seed round. Submer now  has established a global presence, with its headquarters located in Barcelona, Spain. The company further extends its reach through additional offices in key innovation hubs, including Silicon Valley, Texas, and Taiwan. This global footprint allows Submer to serve diverse clients, encompassing public institutions, major corporations, and even one of the top three hyperscalers in the world.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot
© 2022 mundi ventures. all rights reserved. made by hedrick in webflow.