The HPCwire Award for the Best Use of HPC in Energy was recently bestowed to a group of researchers who made major breakthroughs related to the harvesting of ‘blue energy’ – the free energy lost when seawater and river water meet and mix in estuaries.
Capacitive mixing is an up-and-coming technique that exploits the charge-discharge cycle of capacitors and can be used to harvest blue energy, but optimising devices for this remains a challenging task at best.
Researchers in France, led by Benjamin Rotenberg of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Sorbonne Université in Paris, have shown that molecular simulations can realistically predict the capacitance of devices that contain nanoporous carbon materials as the electrodes and salty water as the electrolyte. When run in reverse, this technique is also an efficient way to desalinate water in a process known as capacitive deionisation.
The Best Use of HPC in Energy prize was jointly presented to PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), and French supercomputing organisation GENCI at the 2018 International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, in Dallas, Texas.
At the event, PRACE Managing Director Serge Bogaerts said he was pleased to receive the prestigious award.
“Supporting pioneering research which has a significant impact to our society and strengthens European competitiveness is one of our main priorities,” he shared.
Senior Scientist at CNRS, Benjamin Rotenberg said the initiative has brought together physicists, chemists and high performance computing (HPC) engineers.
“We can now simulate much more complex systems because our code is adapted not only to the GENCI French supercomputers but also to European supercomputers such as the one in Barcelona,” he added.
More information on the awards can be found here.