Using Supercomputers to Improve Fuel Efficiency
Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are about to get a very large and powerful present, an update to the Jaguar supercomputer. The new system will be called Titan and it will be twice as powerful as the current fastest supercomputer, the K computer in Japan. Researchers are hoping to tackle a number of significant problems, including improving the efficiency of the internal combustion engine. Theses devices were developed more than 100 years ago and are extremely inefficient, losing energy to heat and utilizing less than one third of available energy. This means that you are getting far less from that gallon of gas that goes into your car than you could. Researchers like Jacqueline Chen are already using the Jaguar supercomputer to run their simulations and calculations, but even the 3.3 petaflop supercomputer struggles with the complexity. With the upgraded 20 petaflop capacity of Titan, research into alternative fuels and new engine technologies could produce long lasting impacts on the way we use energy.