DOE’s HPC4EI Program, HPC for Manufacturing and Materials Development Companies, Opens to Applicants

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) program, consisting of two subprograms — for manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) and for materials (HPC4Mtls) — is now open to companies seeking access to HPC resources. DOE said companies can apply for dedicated supercomputing time and help from Argonne scientists to address their manufacturing and materials development challenges while improving energy efficiency. Companies interested in working with Argonne should contact Argonne at partners@​anl.​gov.

Companies interested in either program can apply for up to $300,000 in funding, generally twice per year. Awardees can suggest a national laboratory as a partner, or program officials may match companies with national laboratories. Awardees then enter a collaborative agreement with a national laboratory that protects the company’s rights to generated data and new intellectual property.

When Argonne is involved, company researchers partner with scientists in Argonne’s research divisions and at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. At ALCF, U.S. manufacturers can access computing resources that are up to 100 times more powerful than systems typically used by corporations.

Argonne has made it a priority to align its computing and computational science expertise with researchers who develop advanced technologies for U.S. manufacturers. Some of the most successful HPC4EI projects took advantage of this expertise, as well as Argonne’s capabilities in advanced modeling and data analysis, to advance their company’s manufacturing or materials goals.

DOE said the HPC4EI program is the best fit for companies with an energy-focused project in mind that could uniquely benefit from large-scale HPC resources. Projects that involve substantial energy savings for the company or the end-user, or that support the development of new clean-energy technologies, are favored.

Argonne has already worked with many companies to bring the power of HPC to industry. Argonne’s experience in developing high-fidelity complex simulations, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI), and conducting deep data analysis with enhanced visualizations has contributed to the success of many HPC4EI projects, including:

Reducing harmful emissions in diesel engines
Argonne worked with Caterpillar Inc. to improve efficiency and reduce emissions in their heavy-duty diesel engines. They ran hundreds of high-fidelity combustion simulations to identify promising piston bowl designs — the combustion chambers in diesel engines — that could improve fuel efficiency while reducing harmful emissions.

Designing a more efficient aircraft engine
Raytheon Technologies Research Center is working with Argonne to design a more efficient aircraft engine. They are leveraging HPC and machine learning to create accurate models that predict air flow and heat transfer inside a gas turbine engine, identifying fine-scale surface effects that could not have been discovered with physical experiments alone. These simulations will enable Raytheon to modify their manufacturing process to minimize heat loss and maximize durability of their engine components.

Manufacturing defect-free steel slabs
The use of Argonne’s HPC resources enabled ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development to develop new technologies and energy-efficient methods for manufacturing defect-free steel slabs. The project not only resulted in less energy use for ArcelorMittal, which runs the largest steel mill in North America, but the new manufacturing process also produced higher-quality cast steel with less greenhouse gas emissions.

Optimizing manufacturing processes
Using machine learning and computational fluid dynamics, Argonne helped 3M optimize a fiber spinning manufacturing process used in the production of filters, fabrics, and insulation. The collaborative effort, conducted through the HPC4Mfg program, helped minimize the amount of energy used in producing these materials, reducing the overall cost of production.

The HPC4EI program is sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) within the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to strengthen U.S. economic growth, energy security, and environmental quality.