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Colloquium - Gruchalla

Enabling Renewable Energy Research through Scientific Visualization
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Scientific visualization can improve understanding and enable scientific discovery in large, complex data sets. In this talk, I will describe the work being done in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Computational Science Center and the role visualization plays in renewable energy research, detailing some our recent work in understanding the dynamics of fluidized bed reactors. Fluidized bed reactors are a promising technology for the thermo-chemical conversion of biomass in biofuel production. However, the current understanding of the behavior of the materials in a fluidized bed is limited. We are using high-fidelity simulations to better understand the mechanics of the conversion processes. I will describe how we are developing and using visualization techniques to analyze the large-scale data resulting from these simulations. The goal being to gain an understanding of the underlying dynamic behaviors so that we may optimize the reactor designs and the fuel production.

Kenny Gruchalla is a Senior Scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he leads the visualization efforts in the Computational Science Center. He received his MS and PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado Boulder. His current research is focused on developing interactive scientific visualization techniques that provide tools for finding meaning in increasingly large and complex data.

Enabling Renewable Energy Research through Scientific Visualization
Left: A rendering of a periodic bed of sand fluidized by a gas stream injected from below.

Right: Individual bubbles defined by a gas volume fraction of greater than 90% have been extracted and segmented from the particle bed.
Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:13)