GE authorised to use supercomputer to drive wind power research

The Summit supercomputer will be used to conduct ‘otherwise infeasible research’ that is expected to lead to improved efficiencies in offshore wind energy production

Pathway to COP26 report

Scientists at General Electric (GE) have been given the authorisation by the US Government to access one of the world’s fastest supercomputers to advance offshore wind power.

The Summit supercomputer – with power equivalent to 70 million iPhone 11s – at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee will be used to conduct “otherwise infeasible research” that is expected to lead to improved efficiencies in offshore wind energy production.

The GE team will work closely with world-class research teams at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and ORNL to advance its ExaWind platform, which focuses on the development of computer software to simulate different wind farms and atmospheric flow physics.

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

Jing Li, GE Research Aerodynamics Engineer said: “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.

“We’re now able to study wind patterns that span hundreds of meters in height across tens of kilometres 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 characterise and understand poorly understood phenomena like coastal low level jets in ways previously not possible.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast