HPE launches ‘world’s first’ solar-powered supercomputer Hikari to solve Zika virus

Nearly a third of total power used by supercomputer supplied by renewable energy sources

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has joined forces with Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to build what it claims is the world's first solar-powered supercomputer, dubbed Hikari.

HPE said that the computer is currently being used to calculate biology applications' in a bid to help solve the Zika virus crisis.

HPE claimed that it teamed with TAAC, as well as the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and NTT Facilities to ensure that Hikari did not require the huge amount of energy that traditional supercomputers usually require.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Nic Dube, chief technologist for high-performance computing at HPE suggested that Hikari is built using solar panels which are wired directly to the computer, meaning that it runs "on free energy, in the most efficient and sustainable way".

Traditional supercomputers produce a huge amount of heat, and the companies decided to use the Apollo 8000 warm water cooling system, which eliminates the need for Computer Room Air Handlers (CRAH). HPE claimed that this reduced the amount of cooling energy that would normally be required.

Dube explained that during the day, energy produced by the solar system feeds straight into the computer, while at night, when the photovoltaic array does not create energy, the Apollo system switched to an AC-based grid.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The supercomputer runs on about 200,000 watts of DC power, and its other components include DC battery systems, DC air-conditioning, DC lighting, DC supply and solar panels.

HPE claimed that since the Hikari team launched the measurement phase at the end of August, more than 30% of the total power used by supercomputer was supplied by renewable energy sources.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Dan Stanzione, executive director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center has called on other companies to switch from using AC power to DC power in servers, adding that HPE had embraced the idea of investigating and exploring alternative technologies.

"Without their partnership, we could never have built one of the world's greenest supercomputers," he said.

 Picture Credit: HPE

Featured Resources

Successful digital transformations are future ready - now

Research findings identify key ingredients to complete your transformation journey

Download now

Cyber security for accountants

3 ways to protect yourself and your clients online

Download now

The future of database administrators in the era of the autonomous database

Autonomous databases are here. So who needs database administrators anymore?

Download now

The IT expert’s guide to AI and content management

Your guide to the biggest opportunities for IT teams when it comes to AI and content management

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/355254/a-critical-flaw-in-350000-microsoft-exchange-remains-unpatched
servers

A critical flaw in 350,000 Microsoft Exchange remains unpatched

7 Apr 2020
Visit/software/video-conferencing/355257/taiwan-first-country-to-ban-zoom-amid-security-concerns
video conferencing

Taiwan becomes first country to ban Zoom amid security concerns

8 Apr 2020