"Last but not least, we wanted to capture and use the heat generated by the HPC system," Hammond said. "Most data centers simply throw away the heat generated by the computers. An important part of the ESIF is that we will capture as much of the heat as possible that is generated by the HPC system in the data center and reuse that as the primary heat source for the ESIF office space and laboratories. These three things manifest themselves in an integrated 'chips-to-bricks' approach."
Like NREL's Research Support Facility, the ESIF HPC data center did not cost more to build than the average facility of its kind. It actually cost less to construct than comparable data centers and will be much cheaper to operate. NREL's approach was to minimize the energy needed, supply it as efficiently as possible, and then capture and reuse the heat generated.
"Compared to a typical data center, we may save $800,000 of operating expenses per year," Hammond said. "Because we are capturing and using waste heat, we may save another $200,000 that would otherwise be used to heat the building. So, we are looking at saving almost $1 million per year in operation costs for a data center that cost less to build than a typical data center."
Warm-Water Cooling Boosts Data Center Efficiency
The ultra-efficient HPC system in NREL's new data center has been designed in collaboration with HP and Intel. The HPC system will be deployed in two phases that will include scalable HP ProLiant SL230s and SL250s Generation 8 (Gen8) servers based on eight-core Intel Xeon E5-2670 processors as well as the next generation of servers using future 22nm Ivy Bridge architecture-based Intel Xeon processors and Intel Many Integrated Core architecture-based Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors. The first phase of the HPC installation began in November 2012, and the system will reach petascale capacity in the
|Contact: David Glickson|
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory