Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Could 135,000 Laptops Help Solve the Energy Challenge?

01.12.2010
Department of Energy Supercomputers to Pursue Breakthroughs in Biofuels, Nuclear Power, Medicine, Climate Change and Fundamental Research

U.S Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the largest ever awards of the Department's supercomputing time to 57 innovative research projects - using computer simulations to perform virtual experiments that in most cases would be impossible or impractical in the natural world.

Utilizing two world-leading supercomputers with a computational capacity roughly equal to 135,000 quad-core laptops, the research could, for example, help speed the development of more efficient solar cells, improvements in biofuel production, or more effective medications to help slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

"The Department of Energy's supercomputers provide an enormous competitive advantage for the United States," said Secretary Chu. "This is a great example of how investments in innovation can help lead the way to new industries, new jobs, and new opportunities for America to succeed in the global marketplace."

The projects include both academic and commercial research, including partnerships with companies such as GE and Boeing to use sophisticated computer modeling in the development of better wind turbines and jet engines.

Specifically, the Department is awarding time on two of the world's fastest and most powerful supercomputers -- the Cray XT5 ("Jaguar") at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the IBM Blue Gene/P ("Intrepid") at Argonne National Laboratory. Jaguar's computational capacity is roughly equivalent to 109,000 laptops all working together to solve the same problem. Intrepid is roughly equivalent to 26,000 laptops.

The awards include nearly 1.7 billion processor hours on the Department of Energy's advanced supercomputers - the largest total ever -- reflecting both the growing sophistication of the field of computer modeling and simulation and the rapid expansion of supercomputing capabilities at DOE National Laboratories in recent years.

Awarded under the Department's Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, many of the new and continuing INCITE projects aim to further renewable energy solutions and understand of the environmental impacts of energy use. The program, open to all scientists, is supported by the Department's Office of Science and managed by the DOE Leadership Computing Facilities at the Department's Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, which host some of the world's fastest supercomputers.

INCITE program goals include:

Illuminating the roles of ocean, atmosphere, land, and ice in climate change

Advancing materials for lithium air batteries, solar cells, and superconductors

Understanding how turbulence affects the efficiency of aircraft and other transportation systems

Designing next-generation nuclear reactors and fuels and extending the life of aging reactors

Developing fusion energy systems

Improving combustion in fuel-efficient, near-zero-emissions systems

Exploring carbon sequestration

Projects were selected on a competitive, peer review basis and evaluated for computational readiness. Selected projects were chosen for their potential to advance scientific discoveries, speed technological innovations, and strengthen industrial competitiveness and for their ability to make use of hundreds of thousands of processors to work in concert to do so. More than half of the projects are led by university researchers, with the remainder of the awards going to government and industry scientists and engineers.

Several awards - from improving battery technology to better understanding Parkinson's Disease - are profiled below in brief summaries. Read the full listing of awards (PDF - 746 kb), with detailed technical descriptions.

Simulating Treatment for Parkinson's Disease
Principal Investigator: Igor Tsigelny, University of Californina - San Diego
Researchers will use the Intrepid supercomputer to learn more about Parkinson's disease and explore ways to treat it. As the second most common neurological disorder in adults, the personal and economic impacts of Parkinson's disease are enormous. Through computational modeling, the research team will study various mutations of the disease. These findings will provide a test bed for identifying possible healing interventions for treating the disease and could halt the progression of Parkinson's as well as other similar conditions.
Transporting Hazard Explosives Safely
Principal Investigator: Martin Berzins, University of Utah
The research team will utilize the Jaguar supercomputer to examine different packing arrangements of commercial explosives in order to prevent a violent blast. The driving force for this research was a 2005 semi-truck accident on U.S. Route 6 in Utah in which 36,000 lbs of explosives used for mining and seismic exploration were ignited and detonated, destroying a highway and railway. Since thousands of pounds of explosives are transported across the U.S. daily, researchers will examine different packing arrangements of devices to ensure the safe transport of materials for public safety.
Understanding the Ultimate Battery Chemistry: Rechargeable Lithium/Air
Principal Investigator: Jack Wells, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Utilizing both the Jaguar and Intrepid supercomputers, the research consortium will study and demonstrate a working prototype of a rechargeable Lithium/Air battery. The Lithium/Air battery can potentially store ten times the energy of a Lithium/Ion battery of the same weight. Realizing this enormous potential is a very challenging scientific problem. If successful, this will enable rechargeable batteries that compete directly with gasoline, making fully electric vehicles practical and widespread.
Hydrogen as Alternative Fuel - Simulation
Principal Investigator: John Bell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed, emits only water and oxygen making it a potentially promising part of our clean energy future. Researchers will use the Jaguar supercomputer to better understand how hydrogen and hydrogen compounds could be used as a practical fuel for producing power and heat.
Simulating Blood Clots in the Brain to Prevent Aneurysms
Principal Investigator: George Karniadakis, Brown University
Researchers will use the Intrepid supercomputer to conduct multi-scale simulations for modeling blood flow in human brain blood vessels to better predict and understand the rupture of aneurysms, sickle cell anemia and cerebral malaria.
Simulating Large Regional Earthquakes
Principal Investigator: Thomas H. Jordan, University of Southern California
The research team will utilize the Intrepid supercomputer to analyze earthquake-wave-simulations of large-scenario (Mw7.0+) earthquakes at frequencies above 1Hz on a regional scale. Using a realistic 3-D structural model of Southern California, these simulations will help geoscientists better understand the characteristics of large-magnitude events in this region, including the duration and distribution of strong ground motions at different frequencies to enable structural engineers to develop buildings that can withstand such frequencies.
Modeling Nuclear Reactors for Electrical Power
Principal Investigator: Thomas Evans, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Utilizing the power of the Jaguar supercomputer, the research team will study the power distribution in a boiling water reactor, a type of nuclear reactor used for the generation of electrical power. By using novel computational tools researchers will focus on improving performance of both current and next-generation reactors potentially saving millions of dollars, through increased power efficiency and a reduction in fuel failures.

Follow the Department of Energy on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr. Follow Secretary Chu on his Facebook page.

Media contact(s):
(202) 586-4940

Media Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.energy.gov/news/9834.htm
http://www.anl.gov/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: stable organic molecular nanowires
24.05.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices
24.05.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>