INESC TEC develops a sustainable solution for MACC

INESC TEC will work on an energy management system that exploits renewable resources, storage and the flexibility of the Minho Advanced Computing Center (MACC) in order to reduce the environmental impact. The challenge was issued by Manuel Heitor, the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, who, regarding the installation of the supercomputers in Portugal, expressed his concerns about the «ecological footprint” and the benefit of using «green technology» to power these powerful systems, which are naturally relevant consumers of electrical energy.

INESC TEC, which has been working on optimised solutions for the energy management of electrical resources for many years now, will use its accumulated experience in order to meet the project’s requirements.

It is important to remember that after the installation of the supercomputer named BOB in Portugal, Deucalion, which is one of eight European supercomputers announced by the European Commission, is expected to arrive and to be operational by 2021. It will be installed at MACC and will have a ten petaflops processing capacity.

Reducing the «ecological footprint» of the supermachines

With these performance levels, the «ecological footprint» of these machines increases as they grow in terms of power. Hence the challenge issued to INESC TEC for the development of a system that exploits the use of “clean energy”. To do that, INESC TEC’s Centre for Power and Energy Systems will focus on the computer’s power system and on the flexibility management of the machine’s operation. The goal is to optimise processes in order to adjust the energy needs of devices to the availability of renewable resources.

Portugal is one of the eight countries that is part of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, an initiative launched by the European Commission to promote the installation of supercomputing systems in the community area. The Deucalion supercomputer should open the way for competitions to capture projects related to Artificial Intelligence, advanced computing and voice assistants in Portuguese.

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