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HECToR (High End Computing Terascale Resources) is a vast computing facility, worth over £113 million over six years, based on the University of Edinburgh Technopole estate in Midlothian, which experiences cold weather for most of the year. The computing system, using Cray Inc. hardware, benefits academic research throughout the UK. As part of the project, the team adopted innovative ways of cooling when they discovered that the Scottish climate allows them to ‘free cool’ the water for air conditioning, for a relatively long period of the year. Water cooling has resulted in drastic cuts in energy use, mainly because the volume of air needed to remove heat is much greater than the equivalent volume of water required.
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