Effective design for almost any kind of product, from consumer goods to industrial equipment, requires taking a large number of factors into account. By making appropriate trade-offs using simulation for digital exploration and optimization, companies can quickly develop efficient and reliable products.
For example, industrial gas turbines burn gas to turn rotors to produce electricity, with substantial amounts of hot exhaust gases as a byproduct. Instead of just warming up the surrounding air, the heat contained in exhaust gases can be put to work by capturing it and letting it flow around tubes containing water, converting the water into steam. The boiler that contains the pipes and the exhaust gases is called a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The steam can then flow to a steam turbine to generate more electricity.
Many engineers are using powerful simulation software but are still not deploying HPC to the full extent. Case in point, I presume most of you have heard about the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. There is one starting June 17. I find it very exciting, not least because teams of three drivers per car compete to complete the most laps around the 13.629-km Circuit de la Sarthe in 24 hours! The race cars reach more than 320 km/h on the straightaway, spending most of the 24 hours at full throttle.
Imagine the roar of the engine drowning out the cheers of the crowds as you speed smoothly around the track in a finely tuned (thanks to simulation) race car. Now imagine the track is a country road or dirt road, not so smooth or speedy now, is it? Continue reading →