As a result of a collaboration between IMB and the Leibniz Supercomputing Center in Germany, a state-of-the-art and at the same time environmentally-friendly supercomputer is ready to step under the spotlights.
Presently, the said supercomputer, known as SuperMUC, is presumed to be the most powerful in Europe. Thus, its total computing capability is somewhere around three petaflops. However, what interests us is the fact that, by using the Aquasar cooling system, this computer can cut down energy consumption by approximately 40%. This is because, as opposed to traditional cooling systems, the Aquasar uses hot-water in order to help the computer's active components “chill.” According to Environmental Leader, coolant temperatures for the SuperMUC can be as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
Extreme Tech further explains that the Aquasar cooling system is by no means that much different from the standard water coolers we are all too familiar with. More precisely: the working principles are roughly the same. In order to cool the SuperMAC, water is pumped into the system, made to circulate through it and then evacuated. As it makes its way through the computer's tiny channels, the water absorbs the excess heat it happens to come across and therefore keeps the overall temperature within reasonable limits. What is even more interesting is that, during winter, the waste-heat produced by the SuperMUC can be used to make the center warm and cosy.
In case some of you are wandering why it is that the Leibniz Supercomputing Center decided to start using this innovative computer design, let us make it clear that, as of this year, Germany's state-owned institutions are compelled to have 100% of their power come from renewable sources. Seeing how green energy requires quite a lot of investments be made during the initial phase of letting go of traditional fossil fuels, it is no wonder that the aforementioned center wanted to make sure that all energy was being used as efficiently and as responsibly as possible.