Project Background

ENGYS, a software company providing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solutions for engineering analysis and optimization identified the need to offer their users an enhanced solution that could exploit the power within High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms while still working optimally on non-HPC systems. Knowing that NAG understand the complexities of making applications run on HPC systems, ENGYS commissioned NAG to enhance their flagship CFD software, HELYX.

Image: Simulation of flow over an oil & gas pipeline component

NAG helped the provision of real-time visualisation capability

Key to the application enhancement of HELYX was the development of a client-server communication module to configure, submit and visualise CFD jobs as they run on a remote HPC platform. NAG helped the provision of real-time visualisation capability to be embedded in HELYX by making use of ParaView and the Visualization Toolkit (VTK). Through this NAG established best practices for ENGYS and advised on the development of the visualisation component to perform remote parallel rendering on large datasets, with options to use either software rendering or accelerator hardware.

In addition to the application enhancement, NAG also created a script-based solution to streamline the process of deploying the OpenFOAM environment, upon which HELYX is built, on most types of modern HPC systems to host simulations. This helped lower the technical barriers of using the popular open-source simulation package.

As with all projects NAG worked closely with ENGYS’s team to tailor the HPC integration requirements to precisely match the current development status of HELYX.

The new HPC-based HELYX solution was tested by Dynaflow Research Group, an engineering consulting company based in The Netherlands and specialised in serving Oil & Gas industry customers. The new technical solution allows them to arrange access to a suitable HPC facility on an on-demand and cost-effective basis, prepare and manage jobs within an easy- to-use interface, and perform large-scale simulations for their customers without the burden of owning and maintaining in-house HPC hardware.

The end result will give ENGYS’s partners and clients in the Oil & Gas industry the ability to run large-scale pipeline component simulations on large HPC systems from their desktops.

This work was carried out as part of the European Fortissimo project to promote the use of High Performance, cloud-based simulations in the engineering and manufacturing industries.