MARIN (Maritime Research Institute Netherlands) has announced the formal investment of 2 million Euros in a large and fast Bull computer cluster (4000 computational cores). This supercomputer complements MARIN’s extensive model basins, simulators and full-scale monitoring tools. MARIN’s President Bas Buchner: “Computational Fluid Dynamics plays an increasingly important role in the optimisation of ships and offshore structures. Together with our own CFD code ReFRESCO this new cluster forms a new virtual facility: The Maritime Cluster”.
As the name suggests, MARIN wants to use this new facility to strengthen the co-operation with the maritime industry. To stimulate interaction with naval architects and offshore engineers, MARIN invites its clients for the ‘ReFRESCO-operation’. Buchner: “In this partnership MARIN wants to share its dedicated maritime CFD code and computer cluster with the industry, so that we can jointly work on the reliable and robust application of CFD in our maritime field.”
Participants in the ReFRESCO-operation are allowed to use the ReFRESCO code on their office computers without limitations in the number of users and cores. They also have the possibility to scale up calculations with the same input files to the MARIN medium cluster (1600 computational cores) without large investments. Buchner: “Through this co-operation the CFD specialists of our clients also become part of a larger community of maritime CFD specialists at MARIN and other companies. This is very important for up to date advice, exchange of experience and long-term continuity.” MARIN can also assist with calculations on the large cluster for independent verification or detailed analysis.
MARIN has always been involved in the tool development, extensive validation and application of CFD. Henk Prins, MARIN’s R&D Manager: “Especially the direct link with the MARIN model testing facilities and full-scale measurements is a strong point. We are not just providing tools, but also validation and interpretation.” ReFRESCO does not replace generic commercial CFD codes developed for a wide range of applications. However, these codes are often not validated for maritime applications. ReFRESCO gives the maritime industry the possibility to apply CFD reliably for specific maritime applications in direct open interaction
with the developers and other users (at MARIN and at other companies). Prins: “Compared to open-source initiatives, this co-operation has the advantage that you always start with a working and validated code. This guarantees that further developments are shared with the partners in the ReFRESCO-operation, whereas further developments based on open source are not always shared openly. This is why we propose the further development within a partner group with real open sharing.”
Both the new Computer cluster in MARIN’s new office building C++ and the ReFRESCO-operation will officially be in operation from January 1, 2015 onwards. The detailed ReFRESCO-operation partnership plan (and participation fees) is presently under development.
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