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GE plans to give offshore wind power a supercomputer

GE plans to harness the power of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to drive offshore wind power development in the United States. IBM’s Summit supercomputer at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory enables GE to simulate airflows in a way the company has never been able to before.

Ultimately, research can influence the design, control and operation of future wind turbines. It is also intended to promote the growth of wind power off the east coast of the United States by giving researchers a better grasp of the available wind resources in the Atlantic. The simulations that the summit is running may fill in some of the shortcomings in historical data, according to GE.

Offshore wind has the potential to provide almost twice as much electricity as US current electricity use, according to the American Wind Energy Association. But to make turbines that are harder and more efficient offshore, researchers need more information. This is where the summit comes in.


7;s like being a kid in a candy store where you have access to this kind of tool,” says Todd Alhart, GE’s research communications manager. The Summit supercomputer is currently ranked as the second fastest supercomputer in the world after Japan’s Fugaku, according to the Top500 supercomputer’s speed ranking.

GE’s research, which will be carried out next year in collaboration with the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project, would be almost impossible to do without the summit. This is because there is usually a trade-off in their research between resolution and scale. They can usually study how air moves over a single high-resolution rotor blade, or they could examine a larger image – like a massive wind farm – but with blurred visions. In this case, exascale computing should allow them to simulate the flow physics of an entire wind farm with a sufficiently high resolution to study individual turbine blades as they rotate.

“It’s really amazing and can not be achieved in any other way,” said Jing Li, GE’s aerodynamics research leader.

Li and her team will focus on studying low-level coastal rays. These are air currents that do not follow the same pattern as winds that are usually considered in traditional wind turbines, which gradually increase in speed with altitude. Beach jets with low levels are “atypical”, according to Li, because wind speeds can rise quickly to a certain height before they suddenly fall off. These wind patterns are usually less common, but they occur more frequently along the east coast of the United States – which is why researchers want to better understand how they affect a turbine’s performance.

There has been a growing appetite for offshore wind power on the east coast of the United States. America’s first offshore wind farm was built off the coast of Rhode Island in 2016. A slate of east coast wind farms is set to go online in the coming years, with the largest expected to be a $ 1.6 billion project to be built off the coast of New Jersey this year. 2024th

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