twitteryou tubefacebookacp

Rolls-Royce to secure world's largest supercomputer in Saudi Arabia

The fully customised, turnkey secure power system provides the university’s scientific computing data centre (SCDC). (Image Source: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce has commissioned the first six mtu Kinetic PowerPacks to secure one of the world’s largest supercomputers located at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia

The fully customised, turnkey secure power system is equipped with dynamically rotating kinetic energy accumulators, providing the university’s scientific computing data centre (SCDC), which hosts the supercomputer with uninterruptible power. The successful commissioning of the first six units marks a significant project milestone towards the eventual commissioning of 12 total mtu Kinetic PowerPacks that have been delivered for KAUST’s SCDC upgrade.

Matthew Early, vice president, facilities for KAUST, said, “The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks are state-of-the-art, uninterruptible electrical power systems that are designed for operating in extreme environments and provide the highest reliability of back-up power for the most critical and essential systems, such as healthcare facilities, airports, data centres and in our case, our future supercomputer Shaheen III, which will be the most powerful supercomputer in the Middle East and allow KAUST to greatly enhance its ability for scientific discovery and AI innovation."

“The work completed on this complex design-and-build order for KAUST has been extremely rewarding,” said Karim Hamzaoui, operations manager at the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems. “This was an opportunity for us to not only provide our world-class power generation products but also to showcase our ability to be a complete solution provider, taking on the full scope of all aspects of the project, from manufacturing and testing to delivery and installation, creating a customised solution from top to bottom.”

The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks were manufactured and underwent successful factory acceptance testing in Liege, Belgium at the Rolls-Royce facility. The 12 units, along with medium-voltage switchgears, were then shipped and assembled for installation at the site. 

Each mtu Kinetic PowerPack has a power output of 1.6 MW, operates in medium voltage at 13.8kV, 60Hz and is powered by an mtu 16V 4000 G74S diesel engine. The systems are designed for humid ambient conditions and temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. With 12 total units delivered to KAUST, the PowerPacks are being installed in two groups of six systems each, with one available as a back-up in each group (5 + 1 redundancy). In the event of a power outage, the constantly rotating, robust kinetic energy accumulator will both guarantee the starting of the diesel engine and instantaneously secure the critical load.