Steve Hammond, NREL Computational Science Director, told Enterprise Networking Planet that the goal of the new data center is to have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.06, which is substantially better than the industry average of 1.91.
“The compute resources will support the breadth of research at NREL with increased efficiency and lower cost for research into cleaner energy technologies,” Hammond said.
When it comes to NREL’s own data center, Hammond stressed that his organization has taken a holistic approach.
“We have taken a chips to bricks approach measuring both the bytes and the btu’s,” Hammond said.
Warm Water Cooling
The PUE reduction for the NREL data center is being achieved by way of a number of innovations. One of the primary ones is the use of warm water to cool the data center and the server rows.
Ed Turkel, Manager, Worldwide HPC Marketing at HP told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet that when looking at power usage in the data center, a lot of it is in the infrastructure used to cool the data center itself, typically by way of large air conditioning units.
HP’s new warm water approach is a more efficient method than air conditioning for a number of reasons. For one, the water pumps use less power than typical air conditioning unit fans. Turkel added that overall water is a better conductor of heat in contrast to air, and as such, a data center needs less of it to get similar levels of cooling.