Machine Design
Supercomputer Simulates Up to 10,000 Engine Designs at a Time

Supercomputer Simulates Up to 10,000 Engine Designs at a Time

When considering engine designs, certain extensive variables and configurations influence performance. While current simulation software offers proficient tools for preliminary design testing, generating more than 100 simulations can take up to several weeks. Ultimately, it costs a company significant time, money, and resources, especially if there are better designs left undiscovered.

Addressing the problem, the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) uses the power of supercomputing to simulate of up to 10,000 various engine designs simultaneously. Through its Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative (VERIFI), ANL can squeeze a comprehensive design process into just a few days, instead of weeks.

VERIFI uses the supercomputing power of IMB’s Mira at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to simultaneously simulate thousands of complex engine-designs in as little as a few days. Mira consists of 48 racks and contains 768 terabytes of memory.

VERIFI harnesses the power of Mira­—the fifth fastest supercomputer in the world—to process its high-performance simulation program at speeds of 10 petaFLOPS, or a quadrillion (thousand-trillion, 1015) calculations per second. Located at the Department of Energy’s Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), Mira saves more energy than the ALCF’s previous supercomputer through use of innovative chip designs and a unique water-cooling system.

The simulation program is based off of CONVERGE software developed by Convergent Science Inc. Using an Argonne-developed programming language called Swift, VERIFI and partner developers created an enhanced version of CONVERGE that can function with Mira’s 786,432 processors and manage massive workflows.

VERIFI is granted 60 million core hours to carry out various simulation programs with Mira. ANL anticipates that the initiative will significantly increase engine-prototype success rates, as well as drive innovation for extremely complex systems and designs.

“We’re talking about bringing the power of supercomputing to engine design, which will accelerate deployment of new technologies,” says Janardhan Kodavasal, a mechanical engineer at the Argonne facility.

VERIFI is looking for industry partners that want to invent new, advanced engine designs. It is currently performing comprehensive simulations for a major auto manufacturer, an energy and transportation company, and a global fuel supplier.

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