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Dialing it in: A Year of Tuning the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center. Aaron Andersen, Deputy Director of Operations, National Center for Atmospheric Research(NCAR). NCAR ’ s Founding Mission.

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Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

Dialing it in: A Year of Tuning the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center

Aaron Andersen, Deputy Director of Operations, National Center for Atmospheric Research(NCAR)


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

NCAR Supercomputing Center’s Founding Mission

“… to provide, or arrange for provision of facilities for the scientific community as a whole whose initial cost and upkeep lie beyond the capability of individual universities or research groups.”

Preliminary Plans for a National Institute for Atmospheric Research,

1959, NCAR Blue Book


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

History of Computing at NCAR Supercomputing Center

Return of Liquid Cooling

Water

Warm Water

FR3

Exotic Cooling

Freon R-22

Fluorinert

Water


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

  • Key to Optimum Performance (Three M Supercomputing Center’s)

    • Monitoring

    • Measurement

    • Maintenance

  • Infrastructure Support Group – Cheyenne

    • Electricians

    • Mechanics

    • Building Automation Controls

    • HVAC Technician

  • Commissioning Agent

    • Measurement & Verification 12 months post completion


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

Tuning the Facility – Student Interns Supercomputing Center

  • Clair Christofersen - 2012

    • University of Miami Ohio

    • BS Mechanical Engineering – Applied Math

    • Air Flow Modeling (CFD Analysis)

  • Jason Jones - 2012

    • Clemson University -> Georgia Tech

    • BS Mechanical Engineering

    • Air Flow, Water Flow and Total Energy

  • Ademola Olarinde - 2013

    • Texas A&M Kingsville

    • MS Mechanical Engineering


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

65F (18.3 C) Degree Chilled Water Supercomputing Center

Evaporative Solution


Liquid cooling ashrae 2011 guidelines
Liquid Cooling – ASHRAE 2011 Guidelines Supercomputing Center

121 hrs

1.38%

8639 hrs

98.62%


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

Characterize Building Response Supercomputing Center


Mechanical load in winter
Mechanical Load in Winter Supercomputing Center

  • Saw an increase in mechanical consumption in winter months

  • Energy Recovery Heat Pumps consuming way more electricity than expected

  • Why do we care?

    • $5000 per month

  • What is the root cause?


Root cause
Root Cause Supercomputing Center

  • Heat Rejection from Yellowstone is too low 1.2MW vs. 4MW Design

  • Significantly greater heating demand from the building during winter months

  • Commissioning Agent identified the same problem and possible culprit, large Air Handling Units


Why this matters
Why This Matters Supercomputing Center


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

Other Issues Supercomputing Center

  • UPS Efficiency

    • Only Critical Systems are Covered on UPS

      • Disk

      • Network

      • AuthN/AuthZ

      • Login

      • Management

    • Low load causes low efficiency

    • Firmware upgrade moves UPS efficiency from 70% ~ 95%

  • Maintenance really matters

    • Cleaning strainers improve pump energy by 20 KW

    • More frequent maintenance than recommended

  • Water Usage

    • Zero Blow down for Cooling Tower saving 40%

    • Negotiated reduction in Sewer cost ~$2500/month


Dialing it in a year of tuning the ncar wyoming supercomputing center

PUE Trend Since Startup Supercomputing Center