High-Performance Computing and Visualization
High-performance computing (HPC) and visualization at NREL propel technology innovation as a research tool by which scientists and engineers find new ways to tackle our nation's energy challenges—challenges that cannot be addressed through traditional experimentation alone.
These research efforts will save time and money and significantly improve the likelihood of breakthroughs and useful advances. They also help reduce risks and uncertainties that often become barriers for industries that wish to adopt new and innovative technologies.
NREL is home to Peregrine—the largest high-performance computing system in the world exclusively dedicated to advancing renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies. High-performance computing enables unprecedented large-scale numerical models for studying and simulating material properties, processes, and fully integrated systems that would otherwise be too expensive, too dangerous, or even impossible to study by direct experimentation.
With state-of-the-art computational modeling and predictive simulation capabilities, high-performance computing at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) reduces the risks and uncertainty that are often barriers to industry adopting new and innovative technologies, thereby accelerating the transformation or our nation's energy system.
Learn more about high-performance computing at NREL.
Visualization capabilities at NREL go beyond what is found in a typical utility operations center. With its real-time data stream, state-of-the-art, high-resolution visual imagery can effectively convey information and illustrate research findings to stakeholders. For example:
- A utility can see the impact of its solar energy systems in a nearby town by using data visualization software layered with live energy usage data.
- Innovators and researchers can collaborate on the effectiveness of a grid-connected energy storage device by watching live-streaming data and video feeds from an experiment being conducted in an ESIF laboratory.
- Researchers can collaborate with a remote laboratory to conduct a live experiment in which one portion, such as a simulated electrical distribution system connected to a power electronic converter, is located at NREL and the other portion, such as a home with smart appliances and a residential energy storage device, is located at the partner laboratory.
NREL is helping to develop a new and more cost-effective manufacturing process for critical components of concentrating solar power systems.
The ultra-energy-efficient RackCDU liquid cooling system was installed and tested at the ESIF's HPC data center.
NREL collaborated with HP to create Peregrine—the ESIF's ultra efficient high-performance computer that uses warm water for cooling.
Center Director, Computational Science
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