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Published on September 12th, 2012 | by Cynthia Shahan


HP, Intel, & NREL Partner for New High-Performance Computer Data Center

September 12th, 2012 by  

Energy systems integration, renewable energy research, and energy efficiency technologies are being cultivated and progressively developed by HP and Intel, which were selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to provide a new energy-efficient, high-performance computer (HPC) system. With a certain focus on mitigating energy loss, the new center will provide additional computing resources to support the breadth of research at NREL. This will lead to increased efficiency and lower costs for research into clean energy technologies, including solar photovoltaics, wind energy, electric vehicles, buildings technologies, and renewable fuels.

Solar Modules at NREL Outdoor Test Facility by steel & silicon

The $10 million HPC system will reside at the  Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) that is under construction on the Golden Colorado campus. Leading the way with progressive and deeper understanding of biological and chemical processes, “This unique capability sets NREL apart in our ability to continue groundbreaking research and analysis,” NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. “In partnership with HP and Intel, NREL is acquiring one of the most energy efficient, high performance computer systems in the world for our research.

Aware of the immensity of energy being used in data centers, the industry is seeking to mitigate waste and develop more means to protect energy loss. NREL Computational Science Center Director Steve Hammond said, “NREL’s new HPC data center in the ESIF will set the standard for sustainable and energy efficient computing. The data center will have a world-leading PUE and reuse nearly all waste heat generated. Most data centers do only one or the other, not both.”

NREL will maximize the reuse of heat generated by the HPC system. The “waste heat” from the computer system will be used as the primary heat source in the ESIF offices and lab space. Excess heat can also be exported to adjacent buildings and other areas of the NREL campus

NREL needed a system that would deliver on its commitment to energy efficiency while achieving the highest levels of performance for their researchers,” Scott Misage, director of HPC at HP, said. “HP ProLiant servers and innovative water cooled design provide the foundation needed to make this data center one of the most efficient in the world, while reaching petascale performance.”

For more on this exciting progress and all things related, visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov.

Image Credits: new HPC facility by NREL; Solar Modules at NREL Outdoor Test Facility by steel & silicon

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About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)

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