Public colleges and universities have taken on the role of the “center of the universe” in the realm of supercomputing. Supercomputers have advanced to a point where they surpass human intellect and reasoning, despite being man-made technology.
These machines greatly contribute to increasing our knowledge, but also put pressure on the physical support they require, transforming academicians and students into hyperscale or colocation facility managers.
When it comes to supporting higher density in higher education, there are three crucial areas to consider:
Boosting Power Output
As the demand for power reaches over 15 kW per rack, providing enough circuits for each rack becomes increasingly challenging and expensive. For instance, two separate 30-amp circuits at 208V would be necessary to meet the demand, while only one circuit at a higher voltage would suffice. When considering redundant A+B power, it takes four circuits instead of two, demonstrating the difference in cost and complexity for supercomputing.
Sourcing rack PDUs that can be configured to support 415V, and which can be applied to both new and existing applications is ideal. Distributing power at the highest voltage possible not only becomes a more economical solution for powering higher density, but also an environmentally friendly one.
There are several environmental benefits, including reduced electrical losses. At the device level, supercomputing arrays and network appliances run 4-6% more efficiently at 415V compared to 208V. Additional savings can be achieved through the distribution system that carries power from the entrance to the rack. Transformation through UPSs, PDUs, and RPPs can result in an additional 2-3% efficiency increase.
These efficiencies add up, with distribution and transformer losses alone costing up to $21,900 per year at 500 kW (assuming $.10 per kWh). The savings grow as the total IT load increases.
Intelligent PDUs, or rack power distribution devices with built-in networking, monitoring, and data-collection features, are essential in supercomputing. These intelligent rack power distribution units can enhance security by providing input on critical power, temperature, and environmental monitoring points at the rack level.
Intelligent PDUs can also be linked to sensors such as contact closures to ensure physical security as well. This allows for direct access to operational and physical security monitoring points from the devices, through secure software or campus BMS and DCIM software.
C&C is dedicated to supporting higher education and research facilities with intelligent rack power distribution. Contact us today for more information.
Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Josh Mahan