NREL Acquires Next-Generation High Performance Computing System
Kestrel Will Take Flight and Bring the United States Closer to a Clean Energy Future
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to build its third-generation, high performance computing (HPC) system, called Kestrel.
Named for a falcon with keen eyesight and intelligence, Kestrel’s moniker is apropos for its mission—to rapidly advance the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) energy research and development (R&D) efforts to deliver transformative energy solutions to the entire United States.
Installation of the new system will begin in the fall of 2022 in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) data center. Kestrel will complement the laboratory’s current supercomputer, Eagle, during the transition. When completed—in early 2023—Kestrel will accelerate energy efficiency and renewable energy research at a pace and scale more than five times greater than Eagle, with approximately 44 petaflops of computing power.
Eagle enables R&D breakthroughs across multiple programs within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); these breakthroughs are a promising preview of achievable advancements with the highly anticipated Kestrel.
As the dedicated HPC system for EERE, Kestrel will play a critical role in computing across the research portfolio, advancing research in computational materials, continuum mechanics, and large-scale simulation and planning for future energy systems. Rapidly advancing applications and technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are fostering innovation and expansion of research into new directions for computing. These workflows drive complementary physics and data-driven approaches by fusing simulation with new sensor data sources. Kestrel’s heterogeneous architecture—which includes both CPU-only and GPU-accelerated nodes—is designed to enable these emerging workflows, providing EERE and industry partners with the ability to tackle the energy challenges for moving into a renewable and sustainable future.
Years of collaborative work in the HPC domain mean that NREL and HPE are poised to successfully execute the Kestrel deployment beginning in the fall of 2022.
HPE will build Kestrel using the HPE Cray EX supercomputer with design capabilities that are fully compatible with the warm-water waste heat recovery system currently used in NREL’s ESIF data center.
Kestrel will be composed of a balanced capability of future next generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (code-named “Sapphire Rapids”) and NVIDIA A100NEXT Tensor Core GPUs to accelerate AI. The system will also feature HPE Slingshot, an Ethernet fabric to address higher speed and congestion control for larger data-intensive and AI workloads. With high-speed connectivity connecting more than 75 petabytes of parallel file system storage using the Cray ClusterStor E1000 from HPE, users will be empowered to tackle complex, data-centric workflows and immerse themselves in interactive data analytic visualizations.
With the Kestrel HPC system on the horizon, NREL remains poised to continue delivering critical energy efficiency and renewable energy advancements with its HPC-supported capabilities.
Breakthrough technology now available to help ethylene producers reduce emissions and meet sustainability goals
HOUSTON, July 14, 2022 – Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced the launch of a major enhancement to its leading ethane feed steam cracker that is capable of achieving zero CO2 emissions from an ethylene plant. Lummus developed this next generation design as part of its comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all of its technology offerings.
The cracker, which is the industry’s first, is now available for commercial use to decarbonize a process in petrochemical manufacturing that is very carbon intensive. It can be incorporated into both new and existing ethane crackers, and at sites and facilities of different sizes.
“Ethylene producers are looking for solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their investments, and this new net zero ethane cracker will help them achieve their decarbonization goals,” said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. “By launching the world’s first CO2-free ethane cracker, we are leveraging Lummus’ innovative culture and proven ability to commercialize technologies to play a critical role in the energy transition.”
The combustion of methane or other carbon-based fuels can be eliminated through innovations to the cracking heater design, resulting in significant reductions in the fuel firing demand, enhancements in the recovery section and a partial switch from steam turbine to electric drivers on the major compressors.
Lummus’ proprietary ethane feed steam cracking process is the most widely applied process for the production of polymer grade ethylene and polymer grade propylene. The process is noted for its performance including high product yield, energy efficiency, low investment cost and industry-leading reliability.
About Lummus Technology
Lummus Technology is the global leader in developing process technologies that make modern life possible and focus on a more sustainable, low carbon future. Lummus is a master licensor of clean energy, petrochemical, refining, gas processing and renewable technologies, and a supplier of catalysts, proprietary equipment, digitalization and related lifecycle services to customers worldwide. To learn more about Lummus, visit www.LummusTechnology.com.