Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
News Release

January 16, 2001

One of the technologies in development at NETL is fluidized-bed combustion, an environmentally friendly system to burn biomass in a powdered bed by heating it from the bottom in a cylinder. This combustion process can use virtually any fuel and burn it efficiently.

An important objective of fluidized-bed combustion is minimizing ozone emissions. Simulations performed at PSC track ozone as it rises — to see if it escapes the cylinder. In this animation, color represents relative ozone concentration. This is the first 3D simulation of this process, and it shows asymmetries in the gas plume rising from the bed, which couldn't be detected in earlier 2D simulations.

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Receives $2.5 Million for Energy Research

Pennsylvania-West Virginia partners collaborate in development of clean-power technologies.

PITTSBURGH — The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will provide $2.5 million to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to support energy research. The funding comes pursuant to a Pennsylvania-West Virginia regional partnership, the Super Computing Science Consortium, which supports research collaborations for technology development. The Dec. 5, 2000 agreement provides scientists at NETL and West Virginia University with access to PSC's computational resources.

NETL scientists and their contractors will use PSC resources to address the critical challenge of developing clean, efficient fossil-fuel combustion. This research involves computations to simulate complex problems in fluid dynamics, chemistry and geology. In recent work, NETL used advanced computation at PSC to simulate fluidized-bed combustion and lean-fuel mixes for power-generating turbines.

"PSC has been an active partner with NETL in supporting regional initiatives," said Rita A. Bajura, director of NETL. "This agreement will make PSC's computing capabilities available to not only the region but the nation to further research in the efficient production and use of coal, oil, and natural gas — the resources that provide 85 percent of the nation's energy supply."

"We are very excited about the opportunities available through the Super Computing Science Consortium and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center." said John Weete, associate provost for research and economic development at West Virginia University. "Through this agreement WVU researchers will have new and enhanced tools to tackle complex problems requiring high-performance computing resources."

"Working with NETL, we've demonstrated that high-performance computing and communication are powerful tools for solving problems related to fossil-fuel combustion," said PSC scientific directors Michael Levine and Ralph Roskies in a joint statement. "By applying these technologies to the goals of the consortium, we are creating a stronger research and technology base for the region."

Further resources will be provided through a "supercluster" of computers. Clusters of computers located at NETL, WVU and PSC will be connected via a high-performance fiber-optic network. Under the agreement, PSC staff will coordinate and schedule the use of the clusters to act as one supercluster for advanced scientific applications.

The Super Computing Science Consortium, formed in 1999, is a regional partnership of NETL, the newest U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory, PSC, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, West Virginia University and the West Virginia Governor's Office of Technology. The goal of the five-year partnership is to provide intellectual leadership to apply high-performance computing and communication to problems in energy and the environment.

For more information, see http://www.sc-2.psc.edu

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.


Michael Schneider
Sean Fulton
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

© Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC)
Revised: January 16, 2001

URL: http://www.psc.edu/publicinfo/news/2001/netl-01-16-01.html