Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

sections

Illinois supercomputing center gets LEED Gold

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

The newly built data center at the University of Illinois that will soon support one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers received LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

Even with 24MW of critical load, the National Petascale Computing Facility on site of the university’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) was given the USBGC’s second-highest award in recognition of an energy efficient design and a construction process that minimized impact on the environment.

In the summer of 2012, the high-performance computing system called Blue Waters will be installed at the facility. Dr William Kramer, deputy director of the Blue Waters project, said the supercomputer will take up three-fourths of the raised-floor space and use half of the data center’s critical-power capacity.

The supercomputer – manufactured by Cray – will provide computing power for research in a wide range of areas, including astrophysics, cosmology, earthquakes and spreading of diseases to name just a few.

“One percent of this system is more computing than NCSA currently has across all of its other machines,” Kramer said about Blue Waters. It will consist of more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets, powered by AMD Opteron 6200 series processors, and more than 30 Cray XK6 supercomputer cabinets.

All that computing power will be liquid cooled, which was one of the key factors in getting the LEED certification. Kramer said Blue Waters was expected to use about 10,000 gallons per minute on average.

Operators of the data center are planning to use water of the highest-possible temperature to maximize the use of free cooling. That temperature, Kramer said, will range between 60F and 42F, the latter being the temperature mechanical systems can cool the water to.

He expects cooling towers outside of the facility to be sufficiently cooled by outside air for the majority of the year, however.

The facility scored more LEED points because of the design of the electrical system, which feeds 480V power directly to the IT equipment, eliminating the electrical losses that take place when power is stepped down to 120V in traditional systems.

While some critical components will be backed up by UPS, the 12MW used by the HPC system will not be on UPS, Kramer said, as it is not considered mission-critical.

The State of Illinois funded construction of the building at the cost of about US$65m, Kramer said. The National Science Foundation picked up the tab for the supercomputing system.

Related images

  • The National Petascale Computing Facility at the University of Illinois

Have your say

Please view our terms and conditions before submitting your comment.

required
required
required
required
required
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Webinars

  • Do Industry Standards Hold Back Data Centre Innovation?

    Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:00:00

    Upgrading legacy data centres to handle ever-increasing social media, mobile, big data and Cloud workloads requires significant investment. Yet over 70% of managers are being asked to deliver future-ready infrastructure with reduced budgets. But what if you could square the circle: optimise your centre’s design beyond industry standards by incorporating the latest innovations, while achieving a significant increase in efficiency and still maintaining the required availability?

  • The CFD Myth – Why There Are No Real-Time Computational Fluid Dynamics?

    Wed, 20 May 2015 14:00:00

    The rise of processing power and steady development of supercomputers have allowed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to grow out of all recognition. But how has this affected the Data Center market – particularly in respect to cooling systems? The ideal DCIM system offers CFD capability as part of its core solution (rather than as an external application), fed by real-time monitoring information to allow for continuous improvements and validation of your cooling strategy and air handling choices. Join DCIM expert Philippe Heim and leading heat transfer authority Remi Duquette for this free webinar, as they discuss: •Benefits of a single data model for asset management •Challenges of real-time monitoring •Some of the issues in CFD simulation, and possible solutions •How CFD can have a direct, positive impact on your bottom line Note: All attendees will have access to a free copy of the latest Siemens White Paper: "Using CFD for Optimal Thermal Management and Cooling Design in Data Centers".

  • Prioritising public sector data centre energy efficiency: approach and impacts

    Wed, 20 May 2015 11:30:00

    The University of St Andrews was founded in 1413 and is in the top 100 Universities in the world and is one of the leading research universities in the UK.

  • A pPUE approaching 1- Fact or Fiction?

    Tue, 5 May 2015 14:00:00

    Rittal’s presentation focuses on the biggest challenge facing data centre infrastructures: efficient cooling. The presentation outlines the latest technology for rack, row, and room cooling. The focus is on room cooling with rear door heat exchangers (RHx)

  • APAC - “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Managing Data Center Risk

    Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:00:00

    Join this webinar to understand how to minimize the risk to your organization and learn more about Anixter’s unique approach.

More link