This month’s topics focus on climate matters, energy issues and cybersecurity challenges.
CLIMATE — Icy behavior . . .
When a Rhode-Island-sized ice chunk separates from Greenland, is the calving due to typical seasonal variations or a long-term warmer world? A project called the Scalable, Efficient, and Accurate Community Ice Sheet Model, or SEACISM, on the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aims to use state-of-the-art simulation to predict the behavior of ice sheets under a changing climate. ORNL computational Earth scientist Kate Evans leads the effort to develop scalable algorithms, which includes other researchers from ORNL as well as Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, New York University and Florida State University.
ENERGY — Simulating gasification . . .
A process called gasification can turn carbonaceous fuels—coal, petroleum, or biomass—into syngas, a cleaner-burning fuel mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Scientists from the National Energy Technology Laboratory are concluding a three-year project using supercomputers at Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories for simulations to reduce the cost and time of building commercial-scale gasifiers. The efforts will inform the design of advanced technologies to supply clean, reliable and affordable electricity.
CYBERSECURITY — Software agents on assignment . . .
Tracking and protecting information stored on an organization’s network could be more secure with a system developed by a team led by Justin Beaver of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computational Sciences and Engineering Division. The challenge arises when an organization has documents that are being copied, excerpted, changed and stored in various forms across the organization’s network. Host Information Value Engine, dubbed HIVE, solves the problem by dispatching software agents that automatically and quickly review text files and assign them a subject category based on the text contents.
ENERGY — Ocean power . . .
Electricity generated by the ocean is gaining steam with a demonstration plant off the coast of Kona, Hawaii. The technology, Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, is based on using solar energy stored in the world’s tropical oceans and takes advantage of the temperature gradient from surface to depth. At the plant in Hawaii, cold water is pumped from 900-plus meters to the surface using a 1.4-meter in diameter pipe. “OTEC uses this water in conjunction with the warm surface water to drive turbines in a Rankine cycle power plant,” said James Klett of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Materials Science and Technology Division.
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Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory