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Phase I DOE SBIR Received for GUI Development and Workflow Management for CFD/SAS Coupling

August, 2017

Illinois Rocstar has been awarded a new DOE SBIR contract entitled, “GUI Development and Workflow Management for CFD/SAS Coupling.” The goal of this project is to develop innovative software tools and numerical methods to support the US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) efforts towards improved simulation of sodium cooled fast reactors (SFRs).

A common complaint among new users of SFR simulation tools is that the common, text-based input is difficult to use. The majority of system level analysis tools employ these text-based forms of input, which poses a significant barrier to entry. Illinois Rocstar will develop a workflow management tool with an intuitive graphical user interface for the coupling of system-level SFR software SAS4A/SASSYS-1 to the high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software Nek5000.

In addition to the GUI, Illinois Rocstar will work on the development and implementation of advanced coupling methodologies in support of improving the predictive modeling capabilities of the NEAMS toolkit for complex phenomena, such as thermal stratification. Thermal stratification in pool type SFRs occurs when cooler, denser coolant collects at the bottom of the system and warmer, less dense coolant rises to the top. Stratification strongly affects core temperature and natural circulation flows, both of which have strong safety implications. It has been shown that system-level codes (e.g. SAS4A/SASSYS-1) are incapable of sufficiently capturing these effects, whereas high fidelity CFD codes (e.g. Nek5000 ) are capable but are too computationally burdensome to simulate the flow in the entire system. This fidelity trade-off has motivated Illinois Rocstar to work on coupled solutions to leverage the advantages of both codes.

« Illinois Rocstar Announces a New DOE SBIR Phase I Project, NEMoSys: A Platform for Autonomous Mesh Refinement and Solution Verification Illinois Rocstar Awarded $1M DOE Phase II SBIR to Develop Computational Chemistry Dataset Storage Solution »