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DOE's New HPC4Mfg Program Issues 'Call for Concept Papers'

September 21, 2015

Contact: Kathy Kincade, +1 510 495 2124, kkincade@lbl.gov

A new Department of Energy (DOE) initiative will allow industry to leverage the high performance computing (HPC) capabilities of Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), Oak Ridge and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories to advance clean energy manufacturing technologies.

The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program (HPC4Mfg), announced September 15 by David Danielson, assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), at DOE’s third annual American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness (AEMC) summit in Washington D.C., is now accepting concept papers for Phase 1 projects.

The HPC4Mfg program, which will make up to $5 million available to national laboratories to work with qualified industry partners, will couple U.S. manufacturers with the national laboratories' world-class computational research and development expertise to address key challenges in U.S. manufacturing.

"With the HPC for Manufacturing program, DOE is taking the lead in recognizing the untapped resources and potential economic impact that the national laboratories represent," said LLNL Director Bill Goldstein, who was a panelist at the AEMC summit. “HPC4Mfg is designed to lower the cost of entry and to ease the way for U.S. manufacturers to use high performance modeling and simulation for a competitive edge. Specifically, we’ll have the opportunity to explore challenges in the most energy-intensive products and processes where modeling and simulation are ideally suited to offer solutions.”

Under the program, selected projects will apply modeling, simulation and data analysis to industrial products and processes to lower production costs and shorten the time to market for new clean energy technologies. The goal is to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation by accelerating advanced clean energy technology and energy efficiency techniques.

HPC4Mfg adds a new dimension to DOE’s EERE Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), sponsor of the annual summit along with the Council on Competitiveness. CEMI aims to increase American competitiveness in the production of clean energy products and to boost U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity.

LLNL will lead the HPC4Mfg program. The $5 million will be used to initially fund eight to 10 projects to be selected through a review committee, with representatives from DOE and the three national labs. Projects also may include nonprofit partners. Initial funding will be for up to one year. These will build on the foundation of five currently approved seedling projects.

Under one such collaboration, LLNL is working with Purdue University Calumet to develop an integrated HPC modeling simulation and visualization capability for steel manufacturing called “The Virtual Blast Furnace.” In addition, Berkeley Lab and LLNL are working with The Agenda 2020 Technology Alliance to develop a high-fidelity model for coupling flow and mechanical deformation of the re-wet of the porous paper web during the manufacturing process, which would improve the drying of paper products.

Other projects include working with Carbontec Energy Corp. to use HPC to model the E-iron nugget process, a new way of steelmaking using biofuel; SORAA to develop a high-quality crystal growth model for the gallium nitride reactor to accelerate development of the reactor; and Gas Technology Institute to use computational modeling to advance combined heat and power system development.

“We will match industry proposals with the expertise and HPC resources resident at the three national labs,” said Peg Folta, LLNL director of HPC4Mfg. “Our goal is to accelerate innovation, reduce the time to bring clean energy technologies to market and introduce efficiencies to energy manufacturing processes.”

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. Researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest scientific challenges are best addressed by teams, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its scientists have been recognized with 16 Nobel Prizes. Today, Berkeley Lab researchers develop sustainable energy and environmental solutions, create useful new materials, advance the frontiers of computing, and probe the mysteries of life, matter, and the universe. Scientists from around the world rely on the Lab’s facilities for their own discovery science. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory, managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.