UiT Recycles Supercomputing Power with Asetek’s RackCDU™

June 23, 2014

The University of Tromso (UiT) the “Artic University of Norway” is the world’s northernmost university with four campuses spread out across Norway. UiT is already a leader in High Performance Computing (HPC). In 2007 its STALLO cluster became the most powerful cluster in Norway and reached 63rd position in the Top500. In 2014 STALLO 2 is expected to reach 310 Teraflop in peak performance.UiT

UiT’s innovative thinking includes using supercomputing clusters as a heating plant. Specifically, the waste heat from the High Performance Computing facility is the energy source for building and district heating, reducing overall campus energy demand.

“Recently we have moved our attention from counting how many flops we can get out of the supercomputer to how many watts that can be recycled from the same computer” says Svenn Hanssen, Head of Section Research and Educational IT, University of Tromso

UiT believes that hot water cooling is something that gives the Arctic region an advantage and positions the region as a natural place to establish future datacenters. With an average temperature of 4ºC, UiT is an ideal location for re-use of waste heat from data centers. By cutting millions of krones from the power bill, more money can be spent on computing, software and the actual research. Waste heat recovery is also key in UiT’s goal to become the world’s leader in Green HPC.

During the summer of 2014 UiT will complete the build of a new 2MW data center. Its supercomputing cluster is expected to be around 2/3rds cooled by hot water with the longer term goal to make the entire cluster water cooled. The system will use the exit water from cooling the supercomputer as a heat source for the nearby buildings that will expand in the next phase to also provide heat to the hospital next door. The hot water will be used to heat the structures via both wall and ceiling radiators.

UiT began installing Asetek’s RackCDU D2C™ hot water data center liquid cooling in January 2014with the goal of using the supercomputing cluster as a district heat plant. The RackCDU D2C system consists of two key sub systems: D2C™ server coolers that are drop in replacements for the CPU air heat sinks in each server and a RackCDU extension that mounts of the back of each rack. Asetek D2C server coolers bring low-pressure, hot water inside the computing nodes to directly cool high heat flux components such as CPUs, GPUs and memory.

The RackCDU Extension is a 263mm (10.5 inch) cabinet that contains a zero-U rack level Cooling Distribution Unit (hence RackCDU) that exchanges heat between the cooling liquid running through the servers and the liquid in the larger facilities liquid cooling / waste heat recovery loop. Hot cooling liquid moves Rack CDUbetween RackCDU and server coolers via tubes that attach with dripless quick connectors to the RackCDU and via blind mate connectors to the server coolers. The server cooler, connecting tubes and RackCDU are all delivered pre-filled with coolant. Data center operators never have to deal with server cooling liquid.

RackCDU enables much higher rack densities, reduces the overhead power requirements for data center cooling, lowers acoustic noise and enables the use of waste heat to be recouped for building and district heating.

Hot water cooling is highly effective since the surface temperature of a CPU (case temp) only needs to be maintained between 67°C to 85°C (153°F to 185°F), depending on CPU model. The operating surface temperatures for memory chips, GPUs and co-processors is even higher, in the 90°to 95°C (194°F to 203°F) range. The cooling efficiency of water allows it to maintain the required case temps with a low initial temperature difference between the water and the component being cooled, or a small delta T. This means the water used for cooling the components can be hot.  RackCDU D2C is deployable as part of completely new clusters, in server refresh cycles or even as retrofits of existing servers. In particular, there is the ability to implement D2C in many standard air cooled servers offered by OEMs today just as UiT is doing with its HP SL230 servers.

UiT chose to concentrate on D2C cooling of CPUs in the HP SL230 servers used in their HPC cluster. Air-cooled HP SL230’s are a popular choice in the HPC world and RackCDU D2C allows the leveraging these cost-effective nodes to run more efficiently through liquid cooling while enabling high density deployments and substantial power savings.

To make best use of the waste heat a number of factors must be optimized. UiT is manipulating a range of parameters for optimization: flow rates, amount of hot water needed, the temperature of the water, the delta between the supply and return temperature and the size of the supercomputer in terms of possible production of hot water.

Initial testing has shown it is possible to achieve that greater than 70% waste heat recycling with a delta of 25oC between input and exit temperature of the cooling water. The testingUiTto date has been with a rather cold 12oC supply temperature and performance is expected to be even better at higher input temps. Air temperature in the computer room is also a factor. UiT has found that as they increase the room temperature, the water cooled system performance is not affected. Conversely, the air cooled systems start to spend more power for cooling as room temperature rises.

Because it is an HPC computing cluster, a 100% server load is common. The UiT load is typically greater than 80% 24 hours per day/7 days a week, making it ideal for heat capture and reuse.

One of the side effects of moving to hot water cooling and implementing district heating at UiT is the shift in how the supercomputing resource is viewed. No longer is the supercomputer seen as a multi-million dollar yearly expenditure in terms of variable power costs. It is now actually something the whole university expects to be expanded and integrated into the infrastructure to provide heating as well as power cost savings. Indeed, the visibility has built such enthusiasm that there are even artists trying to hook the supercomputer up to new art installations on campus to give different perspectives to the artwork based on the real-time load of the system.

UiT’s leadership in supercomputing is being matched by its mission to become the world’s leader in green High Performance Computing. Not only greening the data center itself but in recouping energy for district heating and having the supercomputing cluster be viewed as a community asset.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Machine Learning at HPC User Forum: Drilling into Specific Use Cases

September 22, 2017

The 66th HPC User Forum held September 5-7, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the elegant and historic Pfister Hotel, highlighting the 1893 Victorian décor and art of “The Grand Hotel Of The West,” contrasted nicely with Read more…

By Arno Kolster

Google Cloud Makes Good on Promise to Add Nvidia P100 GPUs

September 21, 2017

Google has taken down the notice on its cloud platform website that says Nvidia Tesla P100s are “coming soon.” That's because the search giant has announced the beta launch of the high-end P100 Nvidia Tesla GPUs on t Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Wins $48M Supercomputer Contract from KISTI

September 21, 2017

It was a good day for Cray which won a $48 million contract from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) for a 128-rack CS500 cluster supercomputer. The new system, equipped with Intel Xeon Scal Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Prepares Customers for Success with the HPC Software Portfolio

High performance computing (HPC) software is key to harnessing the full power of HPC environments. Development and management tools enable IT departments to streamline installation and maintenance of their systems as well as create, optimize, and run their HPC applications. Read more…

Adolfy Hoisie to Lead Brookhaven’s Computing for National Security Effort

September 21, 2017

Brookhaven National Laboratory announced today that Adolfy Hoisie will chair its newly formed Computing for National Security department, which is part of Brookhaven’s new Computational Science Initiative (CSI). Read more…

By John Russell

Machine Learning at HPC User Forum: Drilling into Specific Use Cases

September 22, 2017

The 66th HPC User Forum held September 5-7, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the elegant and historic Pfister Hotel, highlighting the 1893 Victorian décor and art o Read more…

By Arno Kolster

Stanford University and UberCloud Achieve Breakthrough in Living Heart Simulations

September 21, 2017

Cardiac arrhythmia can be an undesirable and potentially lethal side effect of drugs. During this condition, the electrical activity of the heart turns chaotic, Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud, and Francisco Sahli, Stanford University

PNNL’s Center for Advanced Tech Evaluation Seeks Wider HPC Community Ties

September 21, 2017

Two years ago the Department of Energy established the Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation (CENATE) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). CENAT Read more…

By John Russell

Exascale Computing Project Names Doug Kothe as Director

September 20, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has named Doug Kothe as its new director effective October 1. He replaces Paul Messina, who is stepping down after two years to return to Argonne National Laboratory. Kothe is a 32-year veteran of DOE’s National Laboratory System. Read more…

Takeaways from the Milwaukee HPC User Forum

September 19, 2017

Milwaukee’s elegant Pfister Hotel hosted approximately 100 attendees for the 66th HPC User Forum (September 5-7, 2017). In the original home city of Pabst Blu Read more…

By Merle Giles

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

September 15, 2017

On Friday, Sept. 8, Kathy Yelick of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address on “Breakthrough Science at the Exascale” at the ACM Europe Conference in Barcelona. In conjunction with her presentation, Yelick agreed to a short Q&A discussion with HPCwire. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Pledges Another $300 Million for Post-Moore’s Readiness

September 14, 2017

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched a giant funding effort to ensure the United States can sustain the pace of electronic innovation vital to both a flourishing economy and a secure military. Under the banner of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), some $500-$800 million will be invested in post-Moore’s Law technologies. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Breaks Ground for Complex Quantum Chemistry

September 14, 2017

IBM has reported the use of a novel algorithm to simulate BeH2 (beryllium-hydride) on a quantum computer. This is the largest molecule so far simulated on a quantum computer. The technique, which used six qubits of a seven-qubit system, is an important step forward and may suggest an approach to simulating ever larger molecules. Read more…

By John Russell

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

IBM Clears Path to 5nm with Silicon Nanosheets

June 5, 2017

Two years since announcing the industry’s first 7nm node test chip, IBM and its research alliance partners GlobalFoundries and Samsung have developed a proces Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries: 7nm Chips Coming in 2018, EUV in 2019

June 13, 2017

GlobalFoundries has formally announced that its 7nm technology is ready for customer engagement with product tape outs expected for the first half of 2018. The Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This