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USACM CFD/FSI Virtual Seminar
Thursday, December 09, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST
Category: Events

USACM CFD/FSI Virtual Seminar

Predictive Simulations of Wind Turbines on Next-Generation Supercomputers

Dr. Michael Sprague
Chief Computational Scientist, National Wind Technology Center, NREL


In this talk I will describe our team’s effort to create the open-source ExaWind modeling and simulation environment for high-fidelity predictive wind-turbine and wind-plant simulations. Predictive, physics-based high-fidelity computational models, validated with targeted experiments, provide the most efficacious path to understanding wind plant physics and reducing wind plant losses. The ExaWind software stack has three physics solvers: Nalu-Wind, AMR-Wind, and OpenFAST. Nalu-Wind is an unstructured-grid computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) code that is used to resolve complex geometry and capture thin boundary layers around blades. Nalu-Wind models are embedded in, and two-way coupled to, an AMR-Wind model through overset meshes. AMR-Wind is a structured-grid CFD code with adaptive-mesh-refinement capabilities and is built on the AMReX libraries. OpenFAST is a whole-turbine simulation code, which includes nonlinear blade dynamics, tower dynamics, and control system dynamics. High-performance computing (HPC) is key to high-fidelity wind farm simulations, but HPC is changing rapidly with many supercomputers, like the coming U.S. exascale-class supercomputers, that are relying on graphical processing units (GPUs) for efficiency. I will discuss our results from the Summit supercomputer, which is the second fastest machine in the world, and I will show full turbine simulation results that capture spatial scales spanning eight orders of magnitude.


Mike Sprague is a Chief Computational Scientist in the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He is leading several projects in high-fidelity modeling and highperformance computing for wind energy. He was program chair for the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy "Turbulent Flow Simulation at the Exascale: Opportunities and Challenges Workshop." Before coming to NREL in 2010, Dr. Sprague spent five years as assistant professor and founding faculty in applied mathematics at the University of California, Merced, where he was the lead in developing a new graduate program in applied mathematics. He graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Sponsored by USACM Technical Thrust Area on Computational Fluid Dynamics/Fluid Structure Interaction.
Contact for information about the seminar: [email protected]