Researchers Optimize Solar Energy Research Tool for Exascale Applications

By Oliver Peckham

March 9, 2020

Across the world, solar energy continues to boom, comprising larger and larger shares of the countries’ energy mixes as costs per megawatt-hour continue to decline. But photovoltaic solar power plants and home installations still require large upfront investments and take a long time to pay themselves off, slowing the growth of renewable energy. Now, researchers from Berkeley Lab, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Carnegie Mellon and other universities have joined forces to leverage the power of exascale computing to improve photovoltaic efficiency.

The researchers are predominantly interested in finding new materials for photovoltaic solar cells that can enable “singlet fission,” which would increase the energy efficiency of a panel. Testing new materials for the necessary properties experimentally is a gargantuan task, so the researchers have been using a materials science simulation package called BerkeleyGW to predict those properties across a wide range of materials.

“We can simulate these material properties, use computation to perform screening of the possibilities and pick what we think are the best candidates, then send them to the lab for testing,” said Mauro Del Ben, a research scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division (CRD), in an interview with NERSC. “Since we are looking for excited states in these materials, we need a level of accuracy that goes beyond what’s currently available, and that’s where BerkeleyGW comes in.”

There’s just one problem: BerkeleyGW is computationally intensive, requiring large time allocations on powerful machines. So the research coalition has been working to optimize the code’s performance, improving its parallelization and leveraging accelerators (such as GPUs) to ensure that BerkeleyGW runs as lightly as possible on larger and larger machines.

“While the GW computational approach implemented in BerkeleyGW is highly accurate, it was often considered expensive in terms of computer time required to run the code,” said Jack Deslippe, principal developer of the BerkeleyGW code. “For this collaboration, our team has optimized BerkeleyGW so that it is not only an accurate predictive tool but also scales to peak performance on modern architectures, which allows researchers to analyze up to several thousands of atoms—something that was previously impossible.”

The researchers are optimizing BerkeleyGW with an eye toward Aurora, which is slated to become the first exascale system in the U.S. when it is delivered to Argonne National Laboratory in 2021. In the interim, they are testing and optimizing the code using a trio of supercomputers: Argonne’s Theta system, NERSC’s Cori system and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit system, which is currently the most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world.

To read the NERSC article discussing this research, click here.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Touts Strong Results on Financial Services Inference Benchmark

February 3, 2023

The next-gen Hopper family may be on its way, but that isn’t stopping Nvidia’s popular A100 GPU from leading another benchmark on its way out. This time, it’s the STAC-ML inference benchmark, produced by the Securi Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnerships in strategic technologies and defense industries across th Read more…

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Enables Transparent Medicare Outcome AI

February 2, 2023

Medical applications of AI are replete with promise, but stymied by opacity: with lives on the line, concerns over AI models’ often-inscrutable reasoning – and as a result, possible biases embedded in those models Read more…

Europe’s LUMI Supercomputer Has Officially Been Accepted

February 1, 2023

“LUMI is officially here!” proclaimed the headline of a blog post written by Pekka Manninen, director of science and technology for CSC, Finland’s state-owned IT center. The EuroHPC-organized supercomputer’s most Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 2069893598

Cost-effective and accurate genomics analysis with Sentieon on AWS

This blog post was contributed by Don Freed, Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, and Brendan Gallagher, Head of Business Development at Sentieon; and Olivia Choudhury, PhD, Senior Partner Solutions Architect, Sujaya Srinivasan, Genomics Solutions Architect, and Aniket Deshpande, Senior Specialist, HPC HCLS at AWS. Read more…

Microsoft/NVIDIA Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1453953692

Microsoft and NVIDIA Experts Talk AI Infrastructure

As AI emerges as a crucial tool in so many sectors, it’s clear that the need for optimized AI infrastructure is growing. Going beyond just GPU-based clusters, cloud infrastructure that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnects and high-performance storage can help organizations handle AI workloads more efficiently and produce faster results. Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for more computing specifically targeted at artificial intellige Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnership Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for Read more…

Roadmap for Building a US National AI Research Resource Released

January 31, 2023

Last week the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force released its final report and roadmap for building a national AI infrastructure to include comput Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed Read more…

Multiverse, Pasqal, and Crédit Agricole Tout Progress Using Quantum Computing in FS

January 26, 2023

Europe-based quantum computing pioneers Multiverse Computing and Pasqal, and global bank Crédit Agricole CIB today announced successful conclusion of a 1.5-yea Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the Euro Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

SC22 Booth Videos

AMD @ SC22
Altair @ SC22
AWS @ SC22
Ayar Labs @ SC22
CoolIT @ SC22
Cornelis Networks @ SC22
DDN @ SC22
Dell Technologies @ SC22
HPE @ SC22
Intel @ SC22
Intelligent Light @ SC22
Lancium @ SC22
Lenovo @ SC22
Microsoft and NVIDIA @ SC22
One Stop Systems @ SC22
Penguin Solutions @ SC22
QCT @ SC22
Supermicro @ SC22
Tuxera @ SC22
Tyan Computer @ SC22
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire