The University of Nottingham is leading a £2m High Performance Computing (HPC) project to optimise the sustainable exploitation of wind power in both the European and Brazilian energy markets.

The two-year project will involve 13 partners from across Europe and Brazil with a proven track record of HPC hardware, wind energy, numerical methods, software development and industrial applications.

Annual energy production by wind turbines reached around 10.4 per cent in the EU by the end of 2016. Brazil, meanwhile, has the ninth largest wind capacity in the world and is experiencing more than 10 per cent annual growth with nearly 500 wind farms already deployed.

HPC has been a must for each of these activities and is also essential to the supply change of wind energy, as well as other related industries, such as power systems, energy storage, etc.

“Wind as a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels has become an increasingly important contributor to the energy portfolio of both Europe and Brazil. By 2025 the wind power market is expected to grow over $110bn. The HPC market is also a very important and growing market reaching total revenues of $11.4bn by 2015 alone.”

“At almost every stage in wind energy exploitation ranging from wind turbine design, wind resource assessment and power prediction to wind farm layout and operations, the application of HPC is a must,” explains project lead, Dr Xuerui Mao, from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.

With £2m in Horizon 2020 funding, the ‘High Performance Computing for Wind Energy’ (HPCWE) project will deliver a step change in the application of HPC on wind flow simulations and reshape almost every stage of wind energy exploration.

The goal of HPCWE is to address the key open challenges in applying HPC on wind energy, including efficient use of HPC resources in wind turbine simulations, accurate integration of meso- and micro-scale simulations, and optimisation.

The consortium will develop novel algorithms, implement them in state-of-the-art codes and test the codes in academic and industrial cases to benefit the wind energy industry and research in both Europe and Brazil.

Dr Xuerui Mao, adds, “Wind energy, both onshore and offshore, has experienced rapid developments in Europe in the past 20 years and is flourishing in Brazil. Wind energy and the associated fluid flow simulations have been one of the biggest user of HPC resources in both Brazil and Europe.”

“HPCWE will have a direct impact on societal issues such as reduction of CO2 through promoting wind energy exploitation. The new HPC techniques will create job opportunities, particularly in consultancy in various aspects of wind energy such as wind resource assessment and wind farm optimisation.”

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