High-Performance Computing and Data Visualization

NREL's High-Performance Computing (HPC) Data Center, supercomputing systems, and visualization capabilities propel technology innovation by tackling energy challenges that cannot be addressed through traditional experimentation alone.

NREL's supercomputer, Eagle, which resides in the Energy Systems Integration Facility.

NREL's HPC experts collaborate with scientists and engineers to take full advantage of advanced computing hardware and software resources that provide the computing scale and speed necessary to advance renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies. Advanced visualization technology helps researchers explore and interact with data in new ways that accelerate understanding and innovation. Computational science is a key driver of energy systems integration research in the ESIF.

NREL is installing our third-generation HPC system, Kestrel. Kestrel’s approximately 44 petaflops of computing power will accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy research at a pace and scale more than five times greater than Eagle. See how Kestrel stacks up against the previous system, Eagle, and follow our Countdown to Kestrel Blog for installation updates.

The ESIF offers these unique capabilities in HPC:

8.0-petaflop Hewlett Packard Enterprise SGI 8600 system with Intel Skylake processors

2,114 compute nodes, each with 96, 192, or 768 gigabytes of memory

296 terabytes of total memory

14 petabytes of high-speed data storage with read/write capabilities exceeding 250 GB/second

Mellanox EDR InfiniBand high-speed interconnection

Innovative warm-water liquid-cooling system that allows waste heat to be captured for reuse in the ESIF

Multitiered data archive that offers long-term storage of data associated with projects that run on NREL HPC systems

More than 5 petabytes of disk and tape storage

Flexible architecture that allows the capacity to be easily expanded at a relatively low cost

On-site and remote viewing of experimental data, high-resolution visual imagery, and large-scale simulation data

Stereoscopic, immersive 3D visualization environment comprising six projectors that illuminate two surfaces—the wall and the floor—which can be used in conjunction with an optical tracker to bring scientific data to the human scale

Large, rear-projected, 14-megapixel image display that delivers high-resolution 2D visual imagery, enabling researchers to analyze large-scale simulations, ensembles of simulations, and highly detailed visual analytics displays

Five-node, high-availability cluster built on a combination of open-source software to provide and manage data flows in and out of labs, allowing projects to stream their data out of lab equipment and integrate them with other devices or simulation systems, e.g., to enable hardware-in-the-loop experimentation

Interconnects data between on- or off-site devices, simulations, files, databases, analytical tools, scripts, remote data sources, or external partners

Enables streaming data to the Eagle supercomputer, the Insight Center for real-time visualization, and the ESIF Research Data Repository for persistent archive of data