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PIPEX PX® FUTURE-PROOF MET OFFICE SUPERCOMPUTING CAPABILITY


PIPEX PX® FUTURE-PROOF MET OFFICE SUPERCOMPUTING CAPABILITY

 

 

Photo Right:

Pipex px® Chairman - Mr Tom Smith, MET Office Head of Technical Services - Mr Geoff Hooper & members of the MET Office/ Pipex px® team celebrate project success

 

 

 

Since 2008 Pipex px® have been successfully supplying Met Office (“MO”) with various supercomputer Free Cooling carbon abatement technologies (“CAT”) & associated infrastructure at their weather forecasting data centre HQ operations based in Exeter, Devon.

Various innovative & efficient CAT systems installed by Pipex px® since 2008 have saved, and continue to save, MO many hundreds of thousands of £’s savings in reduced operational energy costs whilst simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint by many thousands of tonnes!

The MET Office in Exeter, Devon

        The MET Office HQ based in Exeter, Devon

Following MO exciting announcement in October 2014 regarding the imminent arrival of their new £97 Million supercomputer capabilities, Pipex px® were awarded a Framework Agreement for the design & build of chilled water services & various assorted technical infrastructure to serve these latest generation super-computers. MO immediate requirement of Pipex px® was to supply infrastructure for the high profile High Performance Computer (HPC) project with key features including:

  • Design & build scope of works, with over 6,000 individual system components required;
  • In-built future-proofing of MO free cooling to accommodate not only current but future generation super-computers;
  • A condensed, aggressive 3 month timescale with a working window of only 71 working days on site for the Pipex px® installation team, to a finish “deadline” of no later than 28th February 2015;
  • Close scrutiny by MO Main Board Directors & UK Government stakeholders;
  • Extensive “on the go” technical design & procurement change management flexibility;
  • Reducing MO Free Cooling running costs via extensive £ value engineering assessments, unique designs and technical/materials innovations.

A Pipex px® Project Manager was based on the MO site and integrated within the MO team to ensure smooth communication & coordination, mitigating project risk and further fostering positive, collaborative and seamlessly integrated teamwork in ensuring the mutual “deadline” goal was achieved.

Pipex px® advanced HDPE pipework design and materials will significantly enhance  system flowrates and in doing so reduce electrical pump costs, this feature alone is forecast to provide the MET Office with an annual saving of approx. £8,500 or £168,000 in current terms for the 20 year proposed service life.

     

Pipex px® Pipe installation team

           Pipex px® Installation team on-site

As predicted, the challenging deadline was no match for the MET Office / Pipex px® collaboration and on the 26th & 27th February 2015, hydro testing of each individual section was successfully performed and duly certified by MO.

Representatives from both companies were on site to celebrate the occasion including Pipex px® Chairman - Mr Tom Smith, MO Head of Technical Services - Mr Geoff Hooper and various members of the Pipex px® installation team.

Pipex px® advance HDPE installed at the MET OfficePipex px® advanced HDPE pipework installed at the MET Office 

   

The new supercomputer will reinforce both the MO & the UK's position as a world leader in weather and climate prediction, and enable experts to predict disruptive weather events such as flooding, strong winds, fog and heavy snowfall more effectively.

 

Once fully installed at the Met Office site and at Exeter Science Park, the computer will be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world and able to perform more than 16,000 trillion calculations per second, and at 14 tonnes, will weigh the equivalent of a double decker buses. It will be 13 times more powerful than the current system and will have 120,000 times more memory than a top-end smartphone. All served by Pipex px® designed & built system infrastructure.

Phase one of the supercomputer is due to be operational in September 2015 with the system expected to reach full capacity and be fully operational in August 2016.

 

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