back to article IBM's new water-cooled supercomputer fires up

Aquasar, a new water-cooled IBM supercomputer, has just been fired up at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. It’s a 6-Tflop system that uses 33 two-way blades with Cell processors and an additional nine blades with dual Nehalem processors, all contained in three of their BladeCenter H Chassis. Two of the three …

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FAIL

How much thermal power?

9kW doesn't sound like much. My domestic gas boiler is more than that.

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Anonymous Coward

cool

I hope they hook this up to skynet! May i be the first to welcome our new water cooled overlords.

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Troll

I'm waiting for the next generation ...

... computer, expected to be coal-fired.

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Troll

too much carbon

Geothermal, maybe in Iceland.

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Paris Hilton

proof of concept

65 °C water is just fine to warm the building, warm water, pool... 30 degree air is not good for anything. Obviously you want to do this in bigger increments than 9 kW.

Paris, because she will heat her jacuzzi with it.

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Flame

Eh? Not efficient to extract heat from the air?

'the output temperature of the air (in traditionally cooled data centers) is too low and can’t easily be concentrated enough to provide a payoff'

Perhaps, then, the return question should be "Hold on a moment: extracting heat from a low-quality source is commonplace - look at any conventional home heat exchanger." Methinks the problem is more to do with when the relevant systems are installed: the A/C for a server room is installed into a building way too late in the day to make it ecconomically viable to reuse the waste heat in any practical way and it's cheaper to dump it to the outside air than have a second-stage compressor to concentrate and so extract the heat energy in any meaningful way.

Flame for it's obvious heat-related meaning.

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Pictures

At first I thought the cooling was done at a chassis level, but it's actually in individual Blades:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/sets/72157623873974587/

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Silver badge

power != energy

So over the course of the day they save roughly 6 gallons of diesel fuel or just under 17 kg of LPG. It may not sound like much but then again when I lived in snowy New Hampshire we used less than half that on the coldest, -20 C, day including showers. Figure in the going prices for heating fuel and it's easily a few thousand euros each year.

Thanks for the pic link Florence. I notice, according to the schematic, they are using parallel flow heat exchangers, an interesting choice be it by engineer or artist. Just don't get me started on that table.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ibm_research_zurich/4581958666/

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Hardly innovative

At one PPOE, we got close to 40% of our heat during the winter from an IBM 1130[0]. The building was designed with that in mind, and simply had a large "hood" that collected the heat and pumped it into the ductwork (or directly outside, during the summer). Low tech, but it worked well and allegedly saved a significant amount of money.

[0] I think it was one of the last two or three still being used (this was in 1992), they finally decommissioned it and sold it to the US Army (who operated the rest of the still-functioning 1130s).

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Linux

BUT....

Can it run Linux??

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