GE using supercomputer to study offshore wind

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted GE Research access to a supercomputer for research aimed at accelerating new advancements in offshore wind.

GE engineers have been granted access to the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, through DOE’s competitive ALCC (Advanced Scientific Computing Research Leadership Computing Challenge) program.

According to GE, the goal is to use supercomputer-driven simulations to conduct otherwise infeasible research expected to lead to improved efficiencies in offshore wind energy production.

The key focus of the project will be to investigate coastal low-level jets, which produce a distinct wind velocity profile of potential importance to the design and operation of future turbines.

Using the Summit supercomputer system, simulations will be used to study and inform new ways of controlling and operating offshore turbines to best optimize wind production.

As part of the project, GE will work with research teams at NREL and ORNL to advance the ExaWind platform which focuses on the development of computer software to simulate different wind farm and atmospheric flow physics.

These simulations are said to provide crucial insights for engineers and scientists to better understand wind dynamics and their impact on wind farms.

“The Summit supercomputer will allow our GE team to run computations that would be otherwise impossible. This research could dramatically accelerate offshore wind power as the future of clean energy and our path to a more sustainable, safe environment,” said GE Research Aerodynamics Engineer Jing Li.

“We’re now able to study wind patterns that span hundreds of meters in height across tens of kilometers of territory down to the resolution of airflow over individual turbine blades. You simply couldn’t gather and run experiments on this volume and complexity of data without a supercomputer. These simulations allow us to characterize and understand poorly understood phenomena like coastal low-level jets in ways previously not possible.” 

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