US Supercomputer to drive offshore wind innovation

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

Two engineers at GE Research in Niskayuna, the main research lab of General Electric Co, working on renewable energy technologies, are using the US government’s most powerful supercomputer to drive offshore wind innovation. 

Jing Li and Michal Osusky, are two of 20 scientists from around the country who have been awarded access to do their research on the Department of Energy’s Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The Summit supercomputer, which was built for the government by IBM, can do 200 quadrillion calculations per second, making it the second-fastest supercomputer in the world.

Li will be using Summit to study how so-called coastal low-level jets – a high-powered but unpredictable wind pattern in coastal areas – interact with offshore wind turbines.

Osusky’s work on Summit will include developing more perfect computer models that predict how air flows through turbines used in jet engines and for power generation.

Such a model would allow for a “virtual” wind tunnel to enable researchers to test and develop new turbine designs more quickly.

“These simulations would provide unprecedented insight into what’s happening in these complex machines, way beyond what is possible through today’s experimental tests,” Osusky said. “The hope is we can utilize a platform like this to accelerate the discovery and validation process for cleaner, more efficient engine designs that further promote our decarbonization goals.”

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