[Beowulf] bring back 2012?

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Sep 7 06:28:51 PDT 2016

From: Beowulf <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org<mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org>> on behalf of Prentice Bisbal <pbisbal at pppl.gov<mailto:pbisbal at pppl.gov>>

Closed systems are almost worst... their is the possibility of explosion (not due to fire, but more the compressed gas explosion).  Go and read your local juristrictions's requirements for hazardous materials (which ALL these fluids are classified as).  Being closed doesn't really count for much and may work against you (ie. you may have to prove to the local fire department - people who have NO IDEA what you are doing - that your closed system can handle the pressure of the vapour it is containing).

While the risk of an explosion is a certainly a theoretical possibility, In practice, the risk of this is virtually non-existent for a variety of reasons.
The theoretical considerations and probability are not the issue – you’re going to be talking to a local building official or fire captain about something that is just plain weird and out of their normal experience.  So they will ask you to PROVE that there is no hazard.  Or they’ll find something that they think is similar in terms of rules and attempt to apply that.

In the commercial process industry, I suspect that this is less of an issue – the regulatory oversight is qualitatively different – factories are in areas that are zoned for “potentially hazardous” operations, and coming in, the inspectors and regulators are in a different mindset.  If you were setting up your immersion supercomputer in a building between a plating shop and a foundry, and you told them that your coolant is hexane, nobody is going to look too hard at your stuff.  They’d probably ask about fire suppression, and evacuation procedures, impose some pointless fire sprinkler requirements and move on.  After all the guy next to you has vats of cyanide and the guy on the other side has crucibles of molten metal.  What’s a few cubic meters of gasoline…

On the other hand, if you’re setting up in a office park or in a multistory building in a business/residential district, the folks coming to approve your installation are more used to seeing cubicles, desks, conventional racks of computers, etc.  You can have all the design info and analysis in the world, and they’re going to envision exploding boilers, rivers of coolant flowing down stairwells, and all manner of things that just can’t happen.

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