TUESDAY 31 JULY, 2012 |
Supercomputer Powered By Solar Panels
A supercomputer used by Britain's Met Office (the equivalent of Australia's
Bureau of Meteorology) is now powered by solar panels.
The solar panel array will generate 221,000 kW hours of electricity per year - enough
energy to power 67 UK households - and will avoid around 116 tonnes of carbon
Installed on the rooftop of the Met Office's Exeter HQ Energy Centre, the array
is linked to an electricity management system allowing for real-time monitoring of the panels' performance.
The 250kW solar power system consists of 1,000 solar
. The system was installed by UK company Sungift
Drawing on more than 10 million weather observations each 24 hours, an advanced atmospheric model and
three high performance supercomputers are used to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings a day.
Among the Met Office's other sustainability efforts in relation to its
supercomputers is a Direct Current (DC) power project; a system that is
delivering a 10% power reduction and a £200,000 electricity cost saving per year.
The organisation has also invested in evaporative free cooling for its
supercomputers. Large tanks installed on the roof of its headquarters in Exeter
allow for cooling at ambient temperature outside the building for much of the time, rather than
total reliance on mechanical cooling.
The Met Office
also be investigating the possibility of running supercomputers at higher temperatures
without losing efficiency and expanding cold aisle containment that traps and vents warm air in curtained-off IT areas.
Other sustainability initiatives at Exeter HQ include harvesting rainwater from
facility's rooftop and from porous car park surfaces for use in flushing toilets
and other applications.
In 2011, the Met Office's efforts were recognised with the award of a gold ranking in the Business in the Community
Corporate Responsibility Index - the UK’s leading voluntary benchmark.
Other news for Tuesday 31 July, 2012
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services