PAWSEY GENERATES A HIGH AMOUNT OF SOLAR POWER. WITH THE GROUNDWATER COOLING SYSTEM AND SOLAR PANELS OPERATING, THE CENTRE IS LOWERING ITS NET EMISSIONS.
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre building incorporates a number of best practice features and solutions. These include:
- A ‘dual skin’ building construction to ensure the most effective insulation of the supercomputing environment from external temperature extremes.
- CSIRO developed a geothermal solution for cooling the Pawsey Centre supercomputer. This initiative translates into a unique groundwater cooling system for removing heat from the supercomputer and reinjecting and dissipating this heat into the aquifer, below the Centre, with no net loss of groundwater or perceptible impact on the aquifer. This method of cooling saves approximately 7 million litres of water every year that we would otherwise have to boil off in cooling towers.
- A Photo Voltaic (PV) system has been incorporated into the building’s shaded facade, plus an extensive PV array on the roof of the building. This PV installation generates ~120kW of electricity onsite, which acts to offset the electrical and CO2 footprint of the Supercomputing Centre.
- The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is an automated, secure, ‘intelligent’ building, with real-time monitoring to facilitate efficient operation and support fine-tuning of operations to reduce overall power costs.
- Overall, the Facility has been designed to be as ‘future proof’ as possible, allowing Pawsey to anticipate and accommodate the power, cooling and physical requirements of the next generation of supercomputers.
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is currently in the process to replace its existing Magnus and Galaxy supercomputers.
Funded by a grant from the Australian Government, the infrastructure upgrade will allow Pawsey to keep pace with global advances in supercomputing technology. It is expected that the new system will provide significantly increased computing power and speed, expanded data storage capacity. Considerations were made during the tender process to optimise the power consumption efficiency with the new system.
To find out more about this and other upgrades part of this government grant visit the Pawsey Capital Refresh project page.
Efficient use of supercomputing resources – through fine-tuning of workflows and pipelines, algorithms, code, etc. – is another way Pawsey seeks to reduce the impact of the systems on the environment. To build skills in researchers using the Pawsey systems, Pawsey’s supercomputing experts offer support as well as training and learning activities designed to build sophistication in system use. Providing a variety of training options, including webinars, workshops, and hackathons, Pawsey offers core through to advanced topics and actively collaborates with technology and domain partners to create bespoke training. To find out more visit our calendar of training events.
The Centre supports a range of cutting edge research such as radio astronomy, engineering, physics, chemistry, earth sciences and life sciences. Several projects on renewables benefited every year from allocations on the Pawsey systems. You can read about some of the projects the Centre are enabling on the science showcase page.
The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has recently commissioned an impact study to showcase the value that this facility brings to Australia. Among some of the finding of this report were direct environmental benefits from reduced CO2e emissions worth $0.5 million from one of the case studies. The impact study can be accessed under request via this link.