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EStar Award Recognizes Innovative Supercomputer Cooling
Date:4/20/2010

An innovative, energy-saving approach to cooling Argonne's Blue Gene/P supercomputer was recognized with an Environmental Sustainability (EStar) award from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science.

Argonne, Ill. (Vocus) April 20, 2010 -- An innovative, energy-saving approach to cooling Argonne's Blue Gene/P supercomputer was recognized with an Environmental Sustainability (EStar) award from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science.

EStar awards highlight environmental sustainability projects and programs that reduce environmental impacts, enhance site operations, reduce costs and demonstrate excellence in pollution prevention and sustainable environmental stewardship.

"Many people contributed to this success," said Pete Beckman, director of Argonne’s Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF). "We have a very dedicated and talented team that works continually to reduce power consumption while supporting breakthrough science on our supercomputer. At Argonne, we believe green science is smart science."

The Argonne project was one of just five EStar awards given to the DOE’s Office of Science laboratories. A total of 127 projects from across the country were nominated for the awards. Gregg Kulma, Argonne’s Pollution Prevention/Waste Minimization Program Manager, submitted the nomination for the Blue Gene/P supercomputer project, along with five other Argonne projects with notable achievements in environmental sustainability.

“At Argonne, we are always looking for ways to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Kulma.

Much of the electricity needed to operate a supercomputer is used to cool the machinery. In colder weather Argonne saves as much as $25,000 per month in electricity costs by leveraging the Chicago area's climate to chill the water used to co
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