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Wind Farmer Case Study: Cutting Down Power By 75 Percent
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Wind Farmer Case Study: Cutting Down Power By 75 Percent


Developers in the renewable energy sector rely on advanced weather models – produced using high performance computing (HPC) – to locate ideal sites for wind farms and solar plants. Sourcing IT …

Developers in the renewable energy sector rely on advanced weather models – produced using high performance computing (HPC) – to locate ideal sites for wind farms and solar plants. Sourcing IT solutions that actively support the move to a greener future by using energy more efficiently is a top priority.

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  • 1. Wind farm developer assesses sites 20 times faster and cuts power use by around 75 per cent with Dell blade cluster • Green efficiency • HPC “Failure or delay was not an option, and, as we had limited HPC experience, we asked Dell to deliver a turnkey solution that was guaranteed to work. That’s exactly what it did.” Peter Stuart, Technical Manager, RES (Renewable Energy Systems) Customer profile Company: RES (Renewable Energy Systems) Industry: Energy Country: United Kingdom Benefits Employees: 680 • otential wind farm sites assessed P Website: 20 times faster • ower consumption reduced by P Business need approximately 75 per cent To build more wind farms overseas, RES needed high performance • taff time freed for strategic tasks S computing. It wanted a power-efficient solution that was compact and thanks to efficient management easy to manage. solution Solution • luster footprint minimised with C Dell consultants designed and implemented a Dell blade cluster, compact blade enclosure running Platform Computing software, supported by Dell storage and • PC availability maximised with H protected by Dell ProSupport for IT. Dell ProSupport for IT
  • 2. Developers in the renewable energy sector rely on advanced weather models – produced using high performance computing (HPC) – to locate ideal sites for wind farms and solar plants. Sourcing IT solutions that actively support the move to a greener future by using energy more efficiently is a top priority. Voted one of the UK’s top 50 green Dell consultants collaborate with companies by The Sunday Times, RES Platform Computing to deliver “Using our previous (Renewable Energy Systems) is one of roadmap for success the world’s leading renewable energy The quick response led RES to a swift three-server cluster, developers, having built more than decision to continue working with Dell. it would take us 80 wind farms across the globe. The company is also expanding into new “We needed to implement the solution as quickly as possible to make the around a year to wind energy markets, including Turkey most of some business opportunities and South Africa. Previously, it ran wind that were coming up in new wind farm map the wind in simulations on a cluster of three Dell™ markets. As our previous experience a country such as PowerEdge™ rack servers. However, to assess more complex emerging with Dell was highly positive, we felt confident from the start that it would Turkey. Now we markets quickly and accurately, it deliver,” says Stuart. needed to upgrade its weather models, can complete for which a large HPC solution was needed. As RES promotes low-carbon the job in two to energy technology, it wanted to Technology at work three weeks.” minimise the carbon footprint of its computations. The HPC cluster also Services Peter Stuart, Technical Manager, had to occupy as little space as possible, Dell ProConsult RES (Renewable Energy Systems). because RES needed sister company – Workshop, Assessment, Design Sir Robert McAlpine to host the cluster, & Implementation (WADI) until it could build its own datacentre. Dell ProSupport for IT Finally, RES wanted a simplified – Mission Critical option management solution because it lacked the resources to run a large- Hardware scale HPC cluster manually. Dell™ PowerEdge™ M610 blade Because the company was pleased servers with Intel® Xeon® with its Dell servers, Peter Stuart, Processors X5550 Technical Manager at RES, contacted Dell PowerEdge M1000e modular his Dell account team. The team told blade enclosure him how RES could take advantage Dell PowerVault™ MD1000 direct of advances in Dell and Intel® Xeon® attached storage array Processor technology to boost HPC processing power, while minimising Dell PowerConnect™ M6220 power consumption and server switches footprint. Says Stuart: “Dell responded quickly to our enquiry – far quicker Software than any of the other companies we Platform Cluster Manager – Dell approached. It immediately assembled Edition a team, including a HPC consultant, who met us within days.”
  • 3. Assess time potentially 20 times faster Power use cut by around 75 per cent The Dell Global Infrastructure Says Stuart: “Our Dell HPC solution is Consulting team (ProConsult) mission critical – without it we might worked closely with RES to assess miss out on opportunities to invest in “Our power the company’s needs and design the new markets. Failure or delay was not solution. Early on in the process, an option, and, as we had limited HPC consumption is Dell consultants introduced RES to Dell Certified Partner Platform experience, we asked Dell to deliver a turnkey solution that was guaranteed around 75 per cent Computing, which showed the to work. That’s exactly what it did.” lower than it would company how Platform Computing software would help make the most Potential wind farm sites have been if we assessed 20 times faster of the HPC cluster and streamline management processes. “As part of the RES now uses its Dell HPC cluster had expanded our Dell Workshop, Assessment, Design with Platform Computing software to previous cluster to & Implementation process, our Dell analyse wind conditions considerably account manager brought in technical faster. This means that the company achieve the same experts from both Dell and trusted can quickly determine if there is software partner Platform Computing sufficient wind for a wind farm on a computational – they worked together to create the optimum HPC cluster for our needs. given piece of land. RES then adds this to other factors, such as proximity to power.” This was great because it meant we the grid and transport infrastructure, Peter Stuart, Technical Manager, avoided dealing with multiple providers. before deciding whether or not to RES (Renewable Energy Systems) As a result, we were able to determine invest. “Using our previous three-server the right size for the cluster and get cluster, it would take us around a year going quickly,” says Stuart. to map the wind in a country such as Turkey. Now we can complete the job in Advised by Dell’s consultants, RES opted two to three weeks – approximately 20 for an energy-efficient HPC solution times faster – which means we can get built on 16 Dell PowerEdge M610 blade wind farms in place quicker,” says Stuart. servers with Intel Xeon Processors X5550, running Platform Cluster Also, RES is able to run more advanced Manager Dell Edition software. Mounted simulation models that offer greater in a Dell PowerEdge M1000e modular accuracy and detail. This, in turn, blade enclosure and connected with makes it easier for RES analysts to Dell PowerConnect™ M6220 switches, evaluate outcomes and adjust models the cluster easily fitted into the space accordingly. As a result, RES managers offered by Sir Robert McAlpine. In have a firmer basis for deciding addition, to store the large volumes where to place the new wind farms, of data produced by its weather which helps minimise the company’s models, RES chose a flexible and cost- risk. What’s more, the HPC solution efficient Dell PowerVault™ MD1000 strengthens RES’s position as a leader direct attached storage array. Dell in its field of expertise, which increases implemented the cluster and storage its chances of picking up new business in two days, with the management in future. software implemented by Platform Computing consultants in three days.
  • 4. Power consumption reduced software. It lets us manage our entire by approximately 75 per cent Dell also met RES’s energy cluster through a single interface, which means we can complete tasks such “Our Dell HPC requirements. Stuart explains: “Our as operating system upgrades quickly,” solution has both power consumption is around 75 per says Stuart. cent lower than it would have been if Platform Computing management the performance we had expanded our previous cluster to achieve the same computational software automates many of the and the energy- processes that RES completed manually power, instead of switching to Dell PowerEdge blade servers.” in the past. Says Stuart: “Platform efficiency we need. Dell PowerEdge M610 blade servers are Cluster Manager automatically allocates resources within our Dell HPC cluster In this way, Dell designed to deliver higher performance and gives us a clear picture of the jobs supports not only for less power. Their Intel Xeon that are running on the system at any Processors 5500 series proactively one time. Our staff are freed from our international switch the servers into the lowest routine tasks, which means they possible power state during periods of have more time for value-added expansion but also reduced demand. And the compact Dell PowerEdge M1000e modular work such as analysing results or configuring new calculations.” our commitment blade enclosure has ultra-efficient to cutting our power supplies and fans as well as Dell ProSupport maximises an optimised airflow design that cool availability carbon footprint.” the chassis – together, these work to RES chose to maximise availability for Peter Stuart, Technical Manager, enable exceptional performance using its HPC solution with Dell ProSupport RES (Renewable Energy Systems) less energy. “Our Dell HPC solution has for IT, Mission Critical option, which both the performance and the energy offers the security of on-site service efficiency we need. In this way, Dell within four hours. Without wind maps, supports not only our international the company cannot assess land for expansion but also our commitment to new wind farms, and any delays to cutting our carbon footprint. We see computations can mean lost investment that as hugely positive,” says Stuart. opportunities. “Our HPC solution is at the heart of our business, and Dell Staff time freed for strategic ProSupport for IT Mission Critical option tasks with simplified cluster helps us ensure that it’s available at all management times. As a long-term customer, we’d In the past, RES could manage its always been pleased with Dell’s service, small cluster manually. However, the so we felt confident in working with its company lacked the resources to run consultants on this project. We haven’t a large-scale HPC solution in the same been disappointed,” says Stuart. way. The Platform Computing software implemented as part of the Dell HPC For more information go to: solution has solved the problem. “We’re and delighted that Dell introduced us to Platform Cluster Manager, Dell Edition The Efficient Enterprise runs on Dell: Availability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visit: © April 2010, Dell Inc. Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Intel, Intel Xeon, and the Intel logo are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. This case study is for informational purposes only. dell makes no warranties, express or implied, in this case study. Reference number: 10008303.