[Beowulf] MareNostrum - pray for cooling

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Apr 13 16:45:56 EDT 2005

At 11:03 AM 4/13/2005, John Hearns wrote:
>On Wed, 2005-04-13 at 08:37 -0700, David Mathog wrote:
> > Today the Register ran an article on MareNostrum
> >
> >   http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/04/13/barcelona_supercomputer/
> >
> > Also, it lives in a chapel.  Really.
>Hmmmm. Thinking about another thread on this list,
>marble and stone have decent specific heat capacities.
>Marble has 90% of the heat capacity of water.

But not the thermal conductivity... nor the ability to pump it from a hot 
place to a cold place.

>So those medieval cathedral builders had it right - a lovely weight
>bearing floor with almost the cooling property of water :-)
>And as for the cooling towers thinly disguised as spires...

This is a standard feature of middle eastern architecture.. solar heat 
makes the air rise in the chimney (minaret, tower, etc.), drawing air into 
the building through underground tunnels, or past fountains of water (for 
evaporative cooling).  Adjusting louvers on the top of the tower also can 
use prevailing winds to enhance flow.

Clever HVAC engineers these medieval folks, and all without once 
calculating the enthalpy or relying on psychometric tables.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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