Supercomputing Centers and Electricity Service Providers: A Geographically Distributed Perspective on Demand Management in Europe and the United States

Tapasya Patki, Natalie Bates, Girish Ghatikar, Anders Clausen, Sonja Klingert, Ghaleb Abdulla, Mehdi Sheikhalishahi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Supercomputing Centers (SCs) have high and variable power demands, which increase the challenges of the Electricity Service Providers (ESPs) with regards to efficient electricity distribution and reliable grid operation. High penetration of renewable energy generation further exacerbates this problem. In order to develop a symbiotic relationship between the SCs and their ESPs and to support effective power management at all levels, it is critical to understand and analyze how the existing relationships were formed and how these are expected to evolve.

In this paper, we first present results from a detailed, quantitative survey-based analysis and compare the perspectives of the European grid and SCs to the ones of the United States (US). We then show that contrary to the expectation, SCs in the US are more open toward cooperating and developing demand-management strategies with their ESPs. In order to validate this result and to enable a thorough comparative study, we also conduct a qualitative analysis by interviewing three large-scale, geographically-distributed sites: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ). We conclude that perspectives on demand management are dependent on the electricity market and pricing in the geographical region and on the degree of control that a particular SC has in terms of power-purchase negotiation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigh Performance Computing : 31st International Conference, ISC High Performance 2016, Frankfurt, Germany, June 19-23, 2016, Proceedings
EditorsJulian M. Kunkel, Pavan Balaji, Jack Dongarra
Publication date19. Jun 2016
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-41320-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-41321-1
Publication statusPublished - 19. Jun 2016
Event31st International ISC High Performance Conference - Frankfurt, Germany
Duration: 19. Jun 201623. Jun 2016


Conference31st International ISC High Performance Conference
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science

Cite this