Scientists Use “Big Bang” Supercomputer to Build Better Jet Engine
GE – Recently the world’s second most powerful computer called Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have been helping GE engineers to build a better jet engine.
Jet engines started out as complicated creatures ever since GE built the first one in the U.S. in 1941, and their design has gotten exponentially more intricate since.
Injectors atomize liquid jet fuel and spray it into the combustion chamber where it burns and generates energy for propulsion. “They are one of the most challenging parts to design and very expensive to produce,” Madhu Pai, an engineer in the Computational Combustion Lab at GE Global Research, says. (The next-generation LEAP jet engine is the world’s first engine with 3D-printed injectors.)
The time and processing power the engineers have at their disposal is equal to running 10,000 computer processors simultaneously for over 9 months. “The supercomputer gives us a microscopic view of the inside of the injector,” Pai says. “We can study the processes occurring in regions hidden behind the metal or where the fuel spray is too dense. This allows us to better understand the physics behind the design.”
This is physics with practical implications. Pai says that small changes to fuel nozzle geometry could lead to significant changes in engine performance. “These high-fidelity computer simulations help us understand how air and fuel mix and burn, and eventually reduce the number of trials. Ultimately, we want to build more powerful engines that consume less fuel and have lower emissions.” more> http://tinyurl.com/mcfr5o9