Navigation Links
Could 135,000 laptops help solve the energy challenge?
Date:11/30/2010

Washington, D.C. - 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.


'/>"/>

Contact: Media Office
202-586-4940
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fire forecast technology could help rescue teams save lives
2. Diabetes drug could work against Alzheimers
3. Gene find could lead to healthier food, better biofuel production
4. Modulating a protein in the brain could help control Alzheimers disease
5. Leaking underground CO2 storage could contaminate drinking water
6. Soft drink could enhance effects of an anticancer drug
7. Study shows extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic
8. Pennycress could go from nuisance weed to new source of biofuel
9. A discovery could be important for the therapy of lymphoma and leukemia
10. Researchers could use plants light switch to control cells
11. Spice in curry could prevent liver damage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/21/2016)... June 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today ... role of principal product architect and that ... of customer development. Both will report directly to ... The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its ... high customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/9/2016)...  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the ... employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics ... Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring ... designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: