Transcript: Xodus Group - using supercomputing to explore the impact of tidal energy devices on the environment

Transcript: Xodus Group - using supercomputing to explore the impact of tidal energy devices on the environment

Dr Simon Neill, Research Lecturer, School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University

“My name is Simon Neill and I’m a lecturer in shelf sea modelling.  Well, I investigate a wide range of processes over our shelf seas.  These include looking at how waves and wave energy have varied in the past. 

“With Xodus Group, we’re looking at how large arrays of tidal energy devices could impact on the environment.  Most of our research is looking into ways in which we can generate electricity from the oceans.  By studying the natural variability of the resource, then we can match individual locations to individual devices. 

“Well I like the fact that I can model any region of the world from my desk. If you want to go out and observe these locations, it would be a very time consuming and expensive campaign.  Well our model simulations produce very large outputs and this is quite time consuming and computationally expensive to process.  High performance computing has made us rethink what is actually possible. Up until now we had just been running model simulations of maybe a few months, but now with high performance computing and HPC Wales’ project we’ve been able to simulate a decade or longer.  HPC allows us to run our simulations for many seasons and for many years so that we can understand the natural variability of systems.”

Ground breaking collaborative research between Xodus Group and Bangor University using HPC Wales supercomputer modelling.

Dr Steve Spall, Xodus Ltd

“HPC Wales has been supporting this project and helping with some of the technical side of it, of how we implement the sorts of simulations we want to do on the system, getting the software up and running on the system that we want to use, just generally helping us transition what we’ve done on standard computing across to the high performance platforms.”

Dr Simon Neill, Research Lecturer, School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University

“Before HPC Wales, I had to spend a lot of my scientific computing time setting up and optimising model code.  Now with HPC Wales there is a lot of support for setting up these models and I can focus my attentions on analysing the model outputs and getting on with the scientific work. 

“There’s also excellent administrative support for setting up projects and particularly for us as academics aligning us with relevant companies such as the Xodus Group.”

Dr Steve Spall, Xodus Ltd

“High performance computing’s making a difference to the work Xodus is doing in that it allows more options and perhaps different projects to be taken on, limitations of computing become less of an issue.  It just generally removes the bottleneck of perhaps not knowing whether you’ve got enough computing on a given project.”

Dr Simon Neill, Research Lecturer, School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University

“Our end goal is to reduce uncertainty in our forecasts of the tidal energy and the wave energy resource.  This will help promote the global renewable energy industry and so reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

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