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Oak Ridge used to simulate turbulent combustion

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A team of mechanical engineers at Sandia National Laboratories is using Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Jaguar supercomputer for its work in simulating turbulent combustion at different scales.

Joseph Oefelein and Jacqueline Chen were allocated 113 million hours on Jaguar in 2008, 2009, and 2010 to simulate autoignition and injection processes with alternative fuels. For 2011 they received 60 million processor hours for high-fidelity simulations of combustion in advanced engines. Their team uses simulations to develop predictive models validated against benchmark experiments. These models are then used in engineering-grade simulations, which run on desktops and clusters to optimise designs of combustion devices using diverse fuels. Because industrial researchers must conduct thousands of calculations around a single parameter to optimise a part design, calculations need to be inexpensive.

'Supercomputers are used for expensive benchmark calculations that are important to the research community,' Oefelein said. 'We [researchers at national labs] use the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to do calculations that industry and academia don’t have the time or resources to do.'