Saving the planet – one calculation at a time

clip_image002We all like to do our bit for the environment, whether it’s separating our recycling or using energy efficient laptops. So it’s especially gratifying when we can help environmental research that has the potential to change our understanding of green issues.

At the Pablo de Olavide University in Spain, the RASPA Group (Group of Nanostructure Materials for Technological Applications), led by Dr. Sofía Calero is studying the absorption and transport of greenhouse gasses in metal organic frameworks. This research contributes to our understanding of the “green-house effect” and climate change around the world.

clip_image004Their research is data-intensive and they were relying on external compute facilities more and more, so they looked for an in-house High Performance Computing (HPC) solution. With only a small IT team, Dr. Calero needed a simple solution that was powerful, reliable and easy to maintain. The university deployed 48 clustered Dell PowerEdge M600 servers housed in a PowerEdge M1000e chassis.

Today the team’s simulations are completed up to 40 per cent faster and they have around 30 percent more computing capacity. In real terms, that means that they can run much longer simulations. Dr. Calero told us: “Now we can run simulations for a month if we like – an increase of around 700 per cent on what was previously possible. I’m excited about the possibilities for environmental research in the group”

As an added bonus, the HPC uses around 25 per cent less energy than their previous solution, so the team can feel even better about their impact on the environment. This is vital work and it’s exciting to think that simulations performed at the university could ultimately impact the way we counter climate change.

Read more about the Pablo de Olavide University story.

About the Author: Kathy Mahady