HPC For SMEs: Accelerate Tidal Turbine Simulations

HPC For SMEs: Accelerate Tidal Turbine Simulations

The Challenge

QED Naval is an SME based in Edinburgh, specialising in supporting the design and deployment of renewable energy installations that utilise wind, tidal, and wave power to generate electricity. The company heavily relies on sophisticated simulations to achieve its goals, often under tight budget and time constraints. As part of the Subhub project aimed at reducing the cost of deploying tidal turbines, QED Naval needed to carry out simulations using ANSYS FLUENT computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. However, the company's computing infrastructure was insufficient to achieve the necessary runtimes, and the capital investment required to establish an in-house high-performance computing (HPC) system was prohibitively high.

"OCF were able to quickly step in with the enCORE service when our normal compute provider shut down for a month. We were quickly up and running with the enCORE service, which delivered excellent performance. This was vital for our business, and we continue to use the enCORE service to meet our growing HPC needs." Dr Mauro Arruda, Director, Digital Engineering Ltd

The Approach

QED Naval chose to test enCORE, a "platform as a service" HPC offering delivered on behalf of the Hartree Centre by OCF.

By using just the necessary amount of central processing unit (CPU) core time, this trial resulted in simulation runtimes 4.2 times faster than what could be achieved in-house. Additionally, it provided a much broader range of outcomes. As QED Naval had no prior experience with HPC, the guidance and recommendations from OCF's experts were critical in helping the company develop the essential understanding needed for an effective workflow. Following the successful trial, QED Naval decided to engage enCORE on a fully commercial basis.

"OCF allowed us to rapidly upscale our CPU capacity. This makes it possible for specialist SMEs such as Simpact to meet the demand from large OEMs, where previously this was the domain of only a handful of international companies." Dirk Landheer, Director, Simpact Engineering Ltd

The Benefits

enCORE's affordable HPC solution has allowed SMEs like QED Naval to compete with much larger rivals by providing speed, efficiency, and the ability to conveniently secure results. 

It has become an essential part of the engineering simulation services that QED Naval offers. Additionally, the ability to control costs by only paying for the necessary resources at the time they are needed is a crucial benefit in a rapidly evolving and challenging market. By harnessing accessible, top-quality computing power, QED Naval is now better positioned than ever to maintain and expand its market share.

“OCF’s excellent support services and flexible secure data delivery are further plus points. A lean business model, enabled by services like enCORE, has allowed our company to reduce infrastructure investment while increasing our growth rate in a global and highly competitive engineering services industry.” Andrew Jackson, Head of Development, Engys Ltd