SHAPE: Using HPC will improve SME’s simulations for engines cooling


SHAPE 12th Call -SME AIE

The 12th PRACE SHAPE Call was open from 1 October 2020 to 1 December 2020 and received sixteen proposals from twelve different countries across Europe. One of those proposals taken forward was from AIE (Advanced Innovative Engineering (UK) Ltd.), an SME based in Lichfield in the UK.

Over the next few months domain experts within AIE will collaborate with High-Performance Computing (HPC) experts at the STFC Hartree Centre to develop and refine AIE’s simulations to make cooling improvements to power units using HPC.

AIE is an engineering company specialising in the development of innovative rotary engines for unmanned vehicles. From its headquarters in Lichfield it manages entire project lifecycles through concept, prototype and production. Working with international partners and customers, AIE creates technologies that combine low total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) with exceptional reliability and versatility for global commercial and defence markets.

Key to achieving a highly power-dense and simple air-cooled engine is the ability of the required heat exchange area of the engine (fin or cooling pack) to reject the heat from the engine to the atmosphere as efficiently as possible. Due to the large number of design and parameter iterations required to achieve an optimised heat exchanger design, sheer computing power becomes a significant factor in reaching a prototype design within reasonable timescales. This is where HPC comes in:

A dedicated AIE technical expert will collaborate with Hartree Centre specialists to develop and refine suitable mesh representations of candidate heat exchangers to facilitate Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computations at scale on an HPC platform. The computations will involve the open source software OpenFOAM which already runs efficiently on HPC platforms. From these simulations, the performance of candidate heat exchanger designs will be determined with precision. All results will be validated against experimental data.

The Thirteenth Call for Applications to SHAPE (SME HPC Adoption Programme in Europe) is presently open and will close on 1 June 2021. We invite applications from European SMEs with an interesting idea that would benefit from High-Performance Computing to increase their competitiveness.


The mission of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) is to enable high-impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. 

PRACE seeks to realise this mission by offering world class computing and data management resources and services through a peer review process. 

PRACE aisbl is funded by the PRACE Members The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (2014-2020).

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