High-Performance Computing Capabilities

The Computational Science Center carries out research using computers as the primary tool of investigation. The Center focuses on supporting National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers with extensive experience in using high performance computing capabilities to address scientific and engineering challenges in fields ranging from condensed matter physics to reacting flows.

The Computational Science Center acquires, provides, and manages highs performance computing (HPC) hardware that range from servers through small clusters (< 1 teraflops) to large production systems.


Photo of two rows of a high-performance computing system that is encased in white containers and doors.

RedMesa is NREL's current flagship capability with a peak performance of 400 teraflops across 42,440 "Nehalem" cores.

RedMesa is NREL's current flagship HPC capability. It has more than 15,000 Intel Xeon 5570 "Nehalem" cores with peak performance of 180 teraflops. RedMesa runs the Linux Operating System, has a dedicated Lustre file system with about 1 petabyte of total storage capacity and a Quad-Data-Rate Infiniband interconnect arranged in a 3D torus topology.

RedMesa is co-located with the larger RedSky HPC system at the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories. Together, they are rated at #10 of the world's fastest supercomputers, with a peak performance of 400 teraflops.


RedRock is a 15 teraflops cluster with the same architecture and software stack as the full-production RedMesa system. By maintaining this cluster on-site at NREL, the Center can fully and rapidly test and profile new system modifications, software tools, and workflows before full-scale deployment on RedMesa. This approach permits the Center greater exploratory freedom and more rapid feedback than would be possible in a highly secure, remote production environment.

Windows-based High Performance Computing Cluster

Windows-based High Performance Computing Cluster (WinHPC) is a separate cluster based on the Windows operating system for development and execution of Windows-based applications.