Skip to main content

Supercomputing and Energy for Mexico

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ENERXICO (Supercomputing and Energy for Mexico)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2020-05-31

This project is technological cooperation between Mexico and the EU.
Mexico opened its energy market recently to modernize it and cooperation with technological world leaders is mandatory to reach such a goal. The EU can offer this cooperation in many energy industries and the required High-Performance Computing (HPC) technology. This project is going to apply exascale HPC techniques to different energy industry simulations of critical interest for Mexico. ENERXICO will give solutions for the oil & gas industry in upstream, midstream, and downstream problems, the wind energy industry, and combustion efficiency for transportation. This project brings together the main stakeholders of the energy industry in Mexico and European energy companies working at the Mexican market, jointly with the main European HPC company. On one hand, HPC resources have undergone a dramatic transformation, with an explosion on the available parallelism and the use of special-purpose processors. The next technological milestone will be exaFlops supercomputers (1018 Floating Point Operations Per Second). These computers will have tenths to hundreds of millions of cores. ENERXICO will perform this software transformation for different exascale candidate problems for the energy industry.

On the other hand, energy scarcity or inefficient usage can lead to higher prices, thus critically impacting the worldwide economy, as emphasized by the Energy Challenge in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme [2] and by the Mexican energy efficiency national goals [3]. This project will contribute both, to an increase in energy production and to the optimization of energy consumption. This project addresses some main challenges in the Mexican energy industry:
1) Increasing the reserves of oil & gas using the state of the art in geophysical exploration for subsalt reservoirs.
2) Improving the refining and transport efficiency of the heavy Mexican oil.
3) Improving fuel generation using biofuels to reduce the emissions of the Mexican transport fleet.
4) Developing a strong wind energy sector that mitigates the present oil dependency of Mexico.

Why these problems need exascale HPC?
The need for exascale HPC and data-intensive algorithms in the energy industry was well established in [4]. In this project we will focus on the following problems of the energy industry:
● Geophysical exploration for Mexican subsalt hydrocarbons.
● Reservoir modeling in the naturally fractured Mexican reservoirs.
● Multiphase flows in pipelines with heavy oil.
● Molecular modeling of catalysts for heavy oil refining.
● Combustion simulation tools to optimize fuel-biofuel design and performance towards more sustainable and greener transport systems.
● Develop methodologies to understand and predict the multi-scale atmospheric motion relevant to the operation and performance of wind farms in complex wind situations.

1. The main objective is to develop beyond the state of the art high-performance simulation tools that can help the modernization of the Mexican energy industry and are also of interest for European companies. These simulation tools should be ready to be used in exascale computers that are in the roadmap of European IT companies.
2. Improve the cooperation between industries from the EU and Mexico. The project includes relevant energy industrial partners from Mexico and the EU, which will benefit from the project’s results. They guarantee that the TRL of the project technologies will be very high.
3. Improve the cooperation between the leading research groups in the EU and Mexico. This includes sharing supercomputing infrastructures between Mexico and the EU. The cross-fertilization between energy-related problems and other scientific fields will be beneficial on both sides.
This project is going to increase the collaboration between the main supercomputing infrastructures from Mexico (ABACUS) and the EU (PRACE-BSC). This is not just a collaboration at the infrastructure level; it also includes the joint work of research groups both Mexican (IPN, UNAM, UAM, CINVESTAV, ININ, FC-UNAM) and European (BSC, CIEMAT, TUM, UGA, UPV-CMT), to develop and deploy shared simulators. This cooperation is not new, for example, de SPH simulator used by Mexican groups is originally a European development adapted by the Mexican groups to some specific problems. Another example is the use of ABACUS computers by BSC researchers in joint research about atmospheric CFD simulations and atmospheric transport of volcanic ash.
In WP1 the European applications report good performances and capability for exascale problems. The main Mexican application, an SHP code for fluid dynamics problems, start to be analyzed with a delay of 6 months, but we expect to complete the analysis in the next 3 months. The preliminary results show good scalability both in general-purpose processors and in GPU clusters. In this WP all the Mexican and European partners developing codes collaborate with BULL-ATOS for the performance analysis.
In WP2 (Wind Energy) ENERXICO partners have made considerable progress to understand the meaning of the terms of advection and gradient tendencies from the mesoscale model's point of view with the idea of obtaining a representative climatology for a region of interest. This is done by developing a classification of mesoscale tendencies calculated from ERA5 reanalysis.
In WP3 (T3.1) we have outlined a fair complete benchmark suite for 3D elastodynamic modelling, which is the core of most seismic modelling, imaging and inversion algorithms.
The exploitation of the results of the ENERXICO project is at three levels:
i. Industry: The industrial partners of the project (Repsol, Iberdrola, and Pemex) have direct access to the innovative ideas and tools of the project and apply them to their internal software. Other companies will have also access to the generated knowledge through the dissemination at industrial associations.
ii. Scientific community: the outcomes of the research are published in peer-reviewed high impact journals, disseminated in congresses and conferences, and transferred to other European and Mexican projects related to energy.
iii. Society: ENERXICO is a project directly related to obtaining and managing more efficiently energetic resources by means of high-performance computing. In the long run, this will result in cheaper, cleaner, and safer energy production, which has a direct impact on society.
The exploitation plan has been planned and executed according to the timeline. The partners clearly state that the codes developed in the project are of interest to be in use for the Industry, Academia, and Research Institutions in all project domains. The exploitation context certainly has both environmental and social impact as, by virtue of the new codes or algorithms produced, there are remarkable improvements in prediction accuracy, reduced execution times, pre-exascale preparation, and further service validation in an operational environment. Additionally, the project results are providing a deeper understanding of new algorithms and procedures for the future (exascale) supercomputers. Also, the HPC specific advances will benefit other disciplines, as supercomputing is being used in almost every scientific and industrial field. The better simulation will impact directly the knowledge related to wind energy, biofuels, and oil & gas.
Family picture