Cooling Technologies

As computational facilities scale, the flow and mixing of forced air cooling becomes a complex optimization problem. Greenscale works closely with the Institute for the Dynamics of Energy Efficiency and its Applications, which focuses on many of these problems. Research at the Institute into airflow and control algorithms (Mezic, Hespanha, Khammash, Moehlis, Matthys) is extensively funded by AFOSR and DARPA. Further research into aggressive cooling techniques includes titanium MEMS / microfluidics for thermal ground planes (Meinhart), which produces heat sinks 500 times more efficient than copper. Even more aggressive is the use of nanofluidic channels to convert heat back into energy (Pennathur). Critical to much of this research in cooling technologies is the ability to effectively model computationally the dynamics of these systems. As a result, existing collaborations (Mezic and Gilbert) already focus on efficient numerical algorithms for modeling airflows on supercomputers and we expect new collaborations to focus on specialized architectures (Gibou, Chong, Sherwood) and the use of sensor data (Suri) to calibrate reduced-order models (Moehlis).

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energy efficiency