DOE Awards $1.8 Million to Six Projects Focused on Improving Energy Efficiency and Productivity Across Manufacturing Sector Using High Performance Computing.
JANUARY 18, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $1.8 million investment for six teams who will tap into the U.S. National Laboratories’ high-performance computing (HPC) resources to help manufacturers streamline their processes, increase their productivity, and lower their carbon footprint. As part of the High-Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program, the selected teams will harness the raw processing power of the world’s most powerful supercomputers—and the lab experts who operate them—to tackle today’s toughest manufacturing challenges and move the country closer to an equitable clean energy future for all Americans.
High-performance computing enables researchers to perform virtual experiments by applying advanced modeling, simulation, and data analysis to manufacturing processes. Running these experiments on supercomputers instead of in the real world allows manufacturers to test new ideas while saving energy, time, and resources.
The six selected projects will use the National Labs’ supercomputers to optimize processes and end-use products across the manufacturing sector, from increasing the energy efficiency of steelmaking to improving the battery manufacturing process for electric vehicles.
DOE has selected the following projects:
- M2X Energy Inc. – M2X Energy Inc. works to mitigate methane and carbon dioxide emissions by replacing gas flares with systems that manufacture economically viable, low-carbon chemical products. With the HPC capabilities of Argonne National Laboratory, M2X Energy Inc. will optimize engine design for methane to syngas reformation resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption from the global upstream oil and gas sector by 43 million metric tons per year.
- Solar Turbines Inc. – Solar Turbines Incorporated will use Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s HPC expertise to use crystal plasticity finite element (CPFE) modeling to quantify the factors that drive additive manufacturing surface fatigue behavior. This could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 376 million tons per year.
- Danieli USA – Steelmaking currently accounts for 8% of global carbon emissions. Danieli USA will collaborate with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop computational simulation models of the melting processes of direct reduced iron (DRI) and H2DRI for industrial use, accelerating the adoption of low-carbon steelmaking. This could help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 32 million tons per year.
- Allegheny Technologies Inc. – Manufacturing of near-net shape mill-products used in aerospace, automotive and other industries has the potential to significantly reduce both energy use and associated CO2 emissions. Allegheny Technologies Incorporated and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will collaborate to produce HPC-enabled digital twin manufacturing for sustainable metalworking that could reduce material waste from the manufacturing process by 50% and CO2 emissions by 564 tons per year.
- Siemens – Composite Phase change materials (C-PCM) play a critical role in energy and storage industrial applications to drive efficiency improvements, thermal energy management, and carbon emissions reductions. Siemens and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will use HPC to enable high-resolution modeling of the C-PCM microstructure to design better materials for waste heat capture.
- Ford Motor Company – An efficient battery manufacturing process is the key to the mass production of electric vehicles, and drying is one of the most energy-intensive steps. Ford Motor Company will leverage the expertise at Sandia National Laboratory to optimize the battery drying process by developing a high-fidelity model for solvent evaporation and transport during drying in a porous electrode structure. This will reduce energy consumption during battery manufacturing and could reduce CO2 emissions by 10 million tons per year.
Learn more about the selected projects.
HPC4Mfg is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office and is a subprogram of the High-Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative. HPC4EI is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory