HPC helps to make combustion plants safe and cost-efficient

There’s no getting around High Performance Computing (HPC) for RECOM Services, a Stuttgart-based small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) for computational process optimization and problem analysis in industrial combustion. Their specifically developed 3D-simulationssoftware RECOM-AIOLOS is able to illustrate combustion processes in virtual reality without disturbing the ongoing operation. Naturally, both engineering and HPC know-how is needed in order to succeed.

Innovative simulation services require HPC

RECOM Natural Gas-Combustion
©RECOM Natural Gas-Combustion

In order to ensure that the processes visualized in virtual reality correspond to the real world, selected operating conditions are both simulated and measured. Once sufficient model correspondence to reality is demonstrated, it will be used to reliably simulate the concrete problem and thus creates the bigger picture. Depending on the scale of this problem, however, large computing resources are necessary. “With Hazel Hen, the supercomputer of HLRS, we can design simulation services of the future”, Dr. Benedetto Risio, CEO of RECOM Services, explains. “We are currently working on genetic algorithms that are able to automatically optimize the design and operation of industrial combustion chambers.”

“Our software simulates the relevant issues and is thus able to identify potential risks in an early stage and to minimize consequential costs”

Working in the interrelation of HPC and engineering has proven beneficial for the SME. Many German operators of combustion chambers, including large energy suppliers, confide in the simulation competence of RECOM, slowly expanding into international markets. Risio explains this success with the high reliability of their simulated predictions: “Every small change in the production process, such as modification, modernization or fuel switching, bears technical risks that might jeopardize safe plant operation and make operation costs shoot up”, Risio states. “Our software simulates the relevant issues and is thus able to identify potential risks in an early stage and to minimize consequential costs”.

This case highlights the great potential that lies in the interrelation between Engineering and HPC, which is not fully exploited yet. Automation processes in combustion could help large companies as well as SMEs to increase security and decrease operation costs in the medium-term. SICOS BW, a publicly funded German consulting company for SMEs which want to use HPC, acts as a broker for companies like RECOM and supports them in using the High Perfomance Computing Center Stuttgart’s (HLRS) computing resources. Working together with experts for industrial needs in HPC, providers of highly scalable services and providers of computing resources, EXCELLERAT aims to let more European companies benefit from this collection of expertise.