Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, No. 10, May 24, 2013
   

NYSERDA Awards $1.8 Million to Rensselaer To Boost
Efficiency of Supercomputing Center

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced $1.8 million in funding to Rensselaer for critical upgrades to the electrical and mechanical infrastructure of the university’s supercomputing center, the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI). NYSERDA and Rensselaer officials met at the supercomputing center May 14 to announce the funding.

These upgrades to CCNI’s power and cooling infrastructure support the operation of the center’s high performance computers. Rensselaer recently transitioned its supercomputing research activities to a powerful IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer system, which is four times faster and uses half the amount of energy as its predecessor.

The Blue Gene/Q system and infrastructure upgrades are expected to save Rensselaer more than $1 million in electricity costs annually. The NYSERDA-
funded improvements play an important role in this energy efficiency and help Rensselaer increase its computation capabilities per watt of power. Additionally, these upgrades will enable and support any future expansion of CCNI.

The new Blue Gene/Q system and infrastructure upgrades are expected to save Rensselaer more than $1 million in electricity costs annually.

A partnership between Rensselaer and IBM, the CCNI supercomputing center has enabled industrial, government and academic researchers in New York state and across the nation to tackle scientific and technological challenges related to advanced manufacturing, health care, renewable energy systems, and many other areas.

The new IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputers and other improvements at CCNI are expected to reduce the energy usage at Rensselaer by more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

The $1.8 million in funding was provided through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. Last year, a total of $738 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans.
The funding was provided through NYSERDA’s Industrial and Process Efficiency Program, which provides up to $5 million in financial incentives to manufacturers and data centers that enhance productivity and energy efficiency.

“This funding will allow Rensselaer to reduce its energy footprint without compromising its ability to support world-class computational research. As the nation’s oldest technological research university, Rensselaer has a rich history of educational innovation, a proven commitment to providing top-quality instruction and a tradition of preparing students to succeed,” said Francis Murray Jr., president and CEO, NYSERDA.

“Rensselaer is at the forefront of applying high performance computing to today’s most challenging and complex problems including energy, health, food, water, and national security, and the linked challenges of climate change and allocation of scarce resources. Finding solutions involves massive amounts of data, and requires complex computations, driven by ever-more powerful supercomputers,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson. “As we dramatically increase the computational power of our supercomputers, we also must reduce the energy requirements. We are working both sides of this equation by partnering with IBM to use more energy-efficient computers, and benefiting from the support of NYSERDA to upgrade the power and cooling systems required to handle the increasing computational capacity.”

Read the full press release at news.rpi.edu/update do?artcenterkey=3179.

 

 

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, Number 10, May 24, 2013
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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