• May 2010
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Defense-Scale Supercomputing Comes to Alternative Energy Research.

Sandia National Laboratories (04/26/10) Singer, Neal

Red Mesa, a collaboration between Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a 180-teraflop supercomputing platform that will offer defense-scale computing power to alternative energy research. Red Mesa, when combined with Sandia’s other supercomputer Red Sky, reaches a total speed of 500 teraflops, making it the 10th fastest computer in the world. “We need supercomputing to help us transform forestry and agricultural by-products into fuels and energy more rapidly and economically,” says NREL Computational Science Center director Steve Hammond. The Red Mesa team significantly improved its efficiency compared with other supercomputers by developing a new innovation called the Glacier Door, which caps each cabinet and keeps cooling mechanisms within a few inches of the heat source. The system also has a better electrical power distribution that allows for easier installation and removal of electrical wiring. “Our changes, both in software and hardware, will save millions of dollars over the life of this machine,” says Sandia’s John Zepper.

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