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Oak Ridge Fan Upgrade Improves Jaguar's Efficiency


A fan upgrade that will save Oak Ridge National Laboratory's computing complex $150,000 a year in energy costs is just the latest step by the laboratory to reduce its computing carbon footprint. The fan upgrade will allow the laboratory's Computer Science Building's twenty 30-ton air conditioning units to operate at peak efficiency.

The upgrade is just the latest in a series of steps by the laboratory to reduce its energy footprint while maintaining two of the world's fastest computers and solving some of the world's most pressing scientific problems, from alternative energy to new materials to the role of proteins in diseases.

The Computational Science Building was among the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified computing facilities in the country and has one of the best power usage effectiveness ratings of any large-scale data center. Furthermore, a new cooling system, dubbed ECOphlex, for the laboratory's Cray supercomputers allows the laboratory to reduce the amount of chilled water used to cool Jaguar, the world's fastest supercomputer. View a video on Jaguar and ECOphlex at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIGLvu9pLqo&feature=player_embedded#.

Considering the fact that thousands of gallons of water per minute are necessary to keep Jaguar cool, a reduction in the volume of necessary chilled water means a proportionate reduction in the energy used to cool it. Whereas most centers use 0.8 watts of power for cooling per every watt of power used for computing, ORNL enjoys a far more efficient ratio of 0.3 to 1, one of the lowest of all data centers measured.


 

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