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HPE to build supercomputer for federal renewable energy research

The supercomputer, dubbed "Eagle," was designed for the US government's only lab dedicated completely to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

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Dennis Schroeder / NREL

HPE announced Tuesday that it's building a supercomputer to accelerate the federal government's basic R&D into energy efficiency. The supercomputer, dubbed "Eagle," will facilitate research within the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) -- the only federal lab dedicated to researching energy efficiency and renewable energies. NREL is funded through the US Department of Energy but run by private contractors.

NREL expects to install Eagle in one of its data centers this summer and put into production in January. The machine should be more energy efficient and 3.5 times more powerful than its existing system, HPE says.

It will run detailed models to simulate complex systems and processes across a range of research areas, including wind energy and vehicle technologies. For wind energy, for instance, the NREL will use Eagle to analyze wind technology subsystem challenges, as well as systems-level interactions influenced by atmospheric conditions or variable terrain. In the area of vehicle technologies, Eagle will facilitate research in advanced battery technologies and other early-stage innovations in electrification.

Eagle will be powered by the HPE SGI 8600, a system designed to run complex HPC workloads at petaflop speeds. Eagle will also come with a warm liquid cooling system that should capture 97 percent of wasted heat to reuse.

The new supercomputer is part of a longstanding collaboration between HPE and the DOE, which includes work on improving the energy efficiency of high-performance computing technologies.

"We are strongly committed to architecting technologies to power the next wave of supercomputing and are creating advanced HPC systems while scaling energy efficiency in data centers, to get us there," Bill Mannel, GM of the HPC and AI Group for HPE, said in a statement.

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