– Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) –
Today, virtually no major breakthrough, be it designing a new drug, developing new materials for clean energy or addressing climate change — can take place without computation. The MGHPCC is providing a world-class computational infrastructure, indispensible in the increasingly sensor and data-rich environments of modern science and engineering discovery.
The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) is a data center dedicated to research computing. It is operated by five research-intensive universities in Massachusetts: Boston University, Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts. It serves the growing research computing needs of the five founding universities as well as other research institutions.
A historic collaboration among the five universities, state government and private industry – the most significant collaboration among government, industry and public and private universities in the history of the Commonwealth.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
A significant component of the energy needs in any data center comes from its cooling footprint. The MGHPCC has been designed to minimize its cooling needs by using outside air to remove heat whenever possible, reducing the need for energy-intensive chiller operation. To further reduce energy consumption, the mechanical and electrical equipment has been designed to operate reliably at relatively high temperatures, further reducing cooling needs.
The MGHPCC, which opened a year ago in November, reveived LEED Platinum certification in the new construction category for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Green elements of the MGHPCC that were recognized by the USGBC include:
● A cooling system that uses outside air to chill water used to cool the computers. As a result, the MGHPCC users its chillers only 30 percent of the time.
● A chilled water storage tank that allows the MGHPCC to run chillers (when outside air is too warm) at off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower.
● Containment pods in which airflow is regulated using variable speed fans, allowing the MGHPCC to match fan speed to the temperature and pressure inside the containment area.
● Hot aisle containment, which increases cooling efficiency by reducing the distance between the computers and the cooling units to less than two feet.
● A high-voltage power distribution system that increases efficiency by reducing power loss due to conversions in order to step down the power within the center.
● Remediation of contamination on the site of the MGHPCC, the planting of native vegetation, and the use of building material 25 percent of which was recycled and 25 percent of which was manufactured with 500 miles.