Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, October 6, 2022

Supercomputing Propels America Forward 

Research at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is setting the stage for a generation of more energy-efficient, lower emission vehicles.

Researchers at Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) are using supercomputers to advance the design of power and propulsion devices. Specifically, these high-performance machines are helping create more efficient engines and turbines for a new generation of clean, green transportation.

High-fidelity large eddy simulationTurbulent combustion simulations are at the heart of developing these clean-energy technologies. To that end, a team of mechanical engineers, led by Joseph Oefelein and Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories, was awarded 60 million processor hours on Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Jaguar supercomputer to run high-fidelity simulations of combustion in advanced engines.

In an article at OLCF, Oefelein comments on the necessity for such projects: "Supercomputers are used for expensive benchmark calculations that are important to the research community. We [researchers at national labs] use the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to do calculations that industry and academia don't have the time or resources to do."

Creating cheaper, more efficient energy sources, and paving the way for the development of high-efficiency, low-emissions vehicles, is especially important for the United States. The nation is dependent on petroleum and natural gas reserves, with two-thirds of America's oil supply going to transportation and one-third to heating and electricity.

According to Chen, "If low-temperature compression ignition concepts employing dilute fuel mixtures at high pressure are widely adopted in next-generation autos, fuel efficiency could increase by as much as 25 to 50 percent."

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