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Lab Breakthrough: Supercomputing Power to Accelerate Fossil Energy Research

September 30, 2013 - 4:49pm


At the heart of the Simulation-Based Engineering User Center (SBEUC) is a high-performance computer that enables the simulation of processes or technologies that are difficult or impossible to demonstrate using traditional methods. | Video by the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

The Lab Breakthroughs series features videos produced by each of the National Labs about their game-changing innovations and discoveries. To see more, visit To learn more about the National Labs, visit

At the National Energy Technology Laboratory, scientists will be able to use their new supercomputer to model and simulate technologies and processes that would have been physically demonstrated in prior eras -- saving energy, money and time along the way.

The Simulation-Based Engineering User Center (SBEUC) houses a new 503 teraflops supercomputer. Currently ranked 67th on the list of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, the SBEUC supercomputer can perform 503 trillion calculations per second and is customized for engineering calculations in support of fossil energy research.

The SBEUC will be used to accelerate R&D to address environmental concerns around power generation, speed the development of new cutting-edge technology and enable lab scientists to troubleshoot and optimize existing technology, making research into the next generation of fossil fuel systems faster, cheaper and safer. Once a simulation has been run on the supercomputer, the results can be explored through user centers that provide advanced visualization capabilities and foster collaboration among researchers.

The SBEUC is also an energy-efficient facility. The building itself is designed to help dissipate heat more effectively, while a built-in system dynamically adjusts moisture content in the air to create the ideal working environment for the advanced technology housed there.

Watch the video and learn more about the National Labs and their work in high performance computing.