Argonne Supercomputer Advances Energy Storage Research – HPCwire

by | May 13, 2022 | Energy

The lack of large-scale energy storage bottlenecks many sources of renewable energy, such as sunlight-reliant solar power and unpredictable wind power. Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are working on changing that, leveraging an allocation on Argonne National Laboratory’s Theta supercomputer to better understand the dynamics of ion transport that are at the core of batteries and other energy storage systems.
In essence, the issue is that simulations of energy-storing materials are too perfect: or rather, the materials they simulate are too perfect. The imperfections found in real-world materials are key for ion transport, but are not typically well-captured by simulations of those materials.
“We want to understand these boundary regions, so we threw lots of high-performance computing power at it,” explained Brandon Wood, deputy director of LLNL’s Laboratory for Energy Applications for the Future. The HPC power in question: Argonne’s Theta system, via an allocation from the Department of Energy’s INCITE program. Theta is an HPE system that delivers 6.92 Linpack petaflops, and it ranked 70th on the most recent Top500 list.
The researchers are using Theta to run ensemble simulations of a wide range of material imperfections. Wood said that Theta made it possible to look beyond individual problem formations and toward a “range of combinations to see the whole picture.” These atomisti …

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