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MODELLING AND SIMULATION


”A non-expert should be able to define the input data required for high- fidelity multiphysics models”


things are done right, simulation tools allow us to analyse these big phenomena almost with unlimited precision. Paradoxically, and in addition to the computational time, it is the high energy consumption that is the biggest challenge and causes the highest costs.’ Vortex Bladeless uses Altair’s tools


An offshore wind turbine foundation showing the electrode surface potential and streamlines of multiple monopiles


integrated point of view. Model-based development is a key factor as it’s one of the best ways to increase accuracy and reduce development times,’ Schramm added. We also need to break down these siloed environments across different organisations, as Bailey explained: ‘Engineers will need greater transparency and data management systems in place to provide analysis of energy consumption at existing energy plants, which will inform how renewable energy is implemented into society.’ To achieve this, the sector must consider ‘adopting platform-based technology for collaboration and innovation that provides a centralised view of all the relevant information,’ Bailey added. ‘When design and simulation applications are integrated on the same platform, business can access the most up-to-date data. This data can also be easily and transparently used in compliance and [when] reporting to stakeholders.’


Old and new Some renewable energies are more mature than others. Schramm explained: ‘Wind energy and solar PV are by far the most established renewable energy technologies worldwide, especially due to the decreasing production costs across the last decade. These areas are where we see a larger adoption of simulation.’ While growth in wind and solar is


expected to continue over the next few years, there is still much more work to be done to improve these technologies from both a manufacturing and operational


www.scientific-computing.com | @scwmagazine


cost perspective. ‘Continuing to decrease production costs is one of the hot topics in wind and solar,’ Schramm added. Established renewables are also part of a much larger system, which introduces challenges. Fontes explained: ‘Such a system could be a power plant connected to the electrical power grid of a town or province, and maybe even a country. It is important that we can supply reliable lumped models (reduced order models and models based on machine learning trained using multiphysics models). ‘These are usually models that


have been verified using fully-fledged multiphysics models but that are very light-weight in terms of solution time and computer memory. They can be incorporated into large system models without demanding a large increase in computing resources. Such models may also be updated in real-time to account for the measured conditions,’ Fontes added. Innovations are also continuing within the established wind and solar sectors. For example, Altair is currently working with Vortex Bladeless, which is using the company’s simulation, IoT and data analytics tools across its design process. Vortex Bladeless designs bladeless wind turbines where a cylinder is fixed vertically with an elastic rod to harness the power of the wind. David J Yáñez Villarreal, co-founder at Vortex Bladeless, said that simulation ‘is especially effective in introducing the variability that is difficult to reproduce in a laboratory environment and greatly speeds up the understanding and dynamics of each problem’. However, challenges in simulation remain


for Vortex Bladeless, as Yáñez Villarreal explained: ‘The greatest limitation is the hardware and its computational capacity. If


to conduct its simulations, where the Altair nanoFluidX particle-based fluid dynamics tool addresses this problem. ‘This increases the options that best fit the available tool hardware. Specifically, the appropriate use of GPUs greatly enhances the potential of the package,’ Yáñez Villarreal added. Many novel renewable energy sources


are also benefiting from simulation, including marine energies. Bailey explained: ‘Marine energies are emerging as a credible means for electricity generation from non-carbon sources. With its expansive coastlines France has very high marine energy production potential, and thus has the opportunity to race ahead in this sector.’ Tidal energy company EEL Energy


is currently using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform to develop an undulating membrane – simulating the motion made by fish swimming to generate electricity from marine or river currents.


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Vortex Tacoma prototype field tests Winter 2021 Scientific Computing World 27


Comsol


Altair


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