Validating Computational Fluid Dynamics Models of Supercomputing Environments

08/01/2012 - 6:00pm
FL-1001, Small Seminar Room
Clair Christofersen


NCAR has implemented a new supercomputing facility, the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center, at a location in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The facility was designed to be state of the art with respect to energy efficiency. This new datacenter will house the new Yellowstone supercomputing system, which is expected to run at 30 times the speed of the current supercomputer Bluefire at the Mesa Laboratories in Boulder. With Yellowstone’s integrated centralized file system and data storage system (GLADE), the supercomputers will require nearly 2MW of power and will thus output significant heat through the process of operation. NCAR is actively working to optimize the most energy efficient methods of reducing the facilities carbon footprint and saving considerable cost.

With the use of the computer software TileFlow, a SIParCS student in 2011 completed a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model for NWSC. This model predicted the air flow and cooling characteristics for the system before the building was complete. Now that the NWSC is operational, NCAR has built on this project by reviewing the accuracy of the TileFlow model created.

The purpose of my project, then, is to collect data in the actual datacenter including temperature distribution, airflow, and pressure measurements and use comparative analysis to understand what changes need to be made. Upon comparing the actual environmental conditions with the model predictions, the model has been updated and rerun to develop a more accurate (though limited) representation of the supercomputing characteristics.This data is also being used to further optimize operating characteristics of the facility tuning the cooling system for optimal energy efficiency.