Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias - Atlante Node

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The Atlante Supercomputer

Atlante supercomputer joined the RES on February 16th 2009, becoming its 8th member and the 2nd member from the Canary Islands. It is managed by Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias (ITC), a public company of the Canary Islands Regional Government, that promotes industrial development of the region, fostering research, development and innovation in emerging technological fields, in close collaboration with companies and research institutions.

The Atlante node is located at the Science and Technology Park of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria [1]. The cluster is formed by 84 IBM JS21 blade servers with dual core PowerPC 970MP processors and 8GB RAM (336 CPUs in total), reaching 3.36 TFLOP/s. and offers 96TB of storage disk.

Organisational Structure

Mª Belén Esteban Sánchez (System Administrator and User Support)

The technical staff of Atlante comprises a computing engineer from ITC (María Belén Esteban Sánchez), who is responsible for system management and user support, and a group manager (José Manuel Pérez Pérez). A local Access Committee allocates the 80% of local CPU time amongst users from the Government of Canary Islands, private companies and R&D groups, while the remaining processing time is provided to the RES network.

Technical and Scientific Highlights 2014

In 2014 Atlante's local access granted 7 local projects corresponding to Canary Islands companies and researchers. They ran 1.2M hours of CPU time, related to the following projects and publications:

Key Publications 2014


  • Imaculada Menéndez, Emma Pérez-Chacón, José Mangas, Esperança Tauler, Johann P Engelbrecht, Edward Derbyshire, Luis Cana, Ignacio Alonso. Dust deposits on La Graciosa Island (Canary Islands, Spain): texture, mineralogy and transport. Elsevier Catena 2014, 117, 133-144

  • C. Vericat, M. E. Vela, G. Corthey, E. Pensa, E. Cortés, M. H. Fonticelli, F. Ibañez, G. E. Benitez, P. Carro and R. C. Salvarezza. Self-assembled monolayers of thiolates on metals: a review article on sulfur-metal chemistry and surface structures. Royal Society of Chemistry Adv., 2014, 4, 27730.

  • P. Carro, X. Torrelles and R. C. Salvarezza. A novel model for the (sqrt(3)xsqrt(30))R30 alkanethiolate–Au(111) phase based onalkanethiolate–Au adatom complexes. Phys.Chem.Chem.Phys., 2014, 16, 19017.

Key Projects 2014

Analysis of a wide range of Measure-Correlate-Predict (MCP) methods used to estimate long-term wind characteristics at a target site

So-called Measure-Correlate-Predict (MCP) methods have been extensively proposed in renewable energy related literature to estimate the wind resources that represent the long-term conditions at a target site where a short-term wind data measurement campaign has been held. The main differences between the various MCP methods lie fundamentally in the type of relationship established between the wind data (speed and direction) recorded at the target site and the wind data recorded simultaneously at one or various nearby weather stations which serve as reference stations and for which long-term data series are also available. This project analyses and compares a wide range of MCP methods that have been proposed in the context of wind energy analysis, a number of which have been implemented in wind energy industry software applications. This analysis includes the initial methods first proposed in the 1940s which generally attempted only to estimate the long-term mean annual wind speed from a single reference station, and extends up to the most recent methods proposed in the present century based on automatic learning techniques which use several reference stations. It is intended that, the extensive collection of MCP methods which is brought together and analysed in this project, ranging from the simplest and easiest-to-use models to the most complicated computational ones which require specific user experience, comprises an extremely useful catalogue when it comes to choosing the best predictor method.

Sensitivity of KOREA SOUTH wind energy to turbine characteristics

Using output from a high-resolution meteorological simulation (WRF model), we evaluate the sensitivity of Korea South wind energy generation to variations in key characteristics of current wind turbines. These characteristics include hub height, rotor diameter and rated power, and depend on turbine make and model. They shape the turbine’s power curve and thus have large implications for the energy generation capacity of wind farms. In the case of the sensitivity to rotor diameter, the change in energy output per unit change in rotor diameter at any location is directly proportional to the weighted average wind speed between the cut-in speed and the rated speed. The sensitivity to rated power variations is likewise captured by the percent of the wind speed distribution between the turbines rated and cut-out speeds. Finally, the sensitivity to hub height is proportional to lower atmospheric wind shear. Our study underscores the need for joint analysis of regional climate, turbine engineering and economic modelling to optimize wind energy production.

Improving short-term wind energy prediction with wind farm data using the NCAR WRF RTFDDA models

The number of wind farms and the demand for accurate forecasting techniques increases. Harmattan Solutions uses WRF model since a couple of years to produce, among other applications, operational three-day forecasts. Since 2012, a wind farm parameterisation scheme has been added to the WRF model (Fitch et al, 2012). The WRF model allows for the possibility of parameterising the effects that the wind turbines exert over the atmospheric evolution. The parameterisation represents the turbines as an elevated sink of momentum and a source of turbulent kinetic energy following Blahak et al. (2010). However, it uses the thrust coefficient instead of the factor loss to represent the influence of the wind turbines (Fitch et al. 2012). Harmattan solutions started an evaluation study to assess the forecasting quality of this scheme. The simulations are performed with the Weather Research and Forecasting mesoscale model configured at a high horizontal resolution of 333 m. The scheme has been slightly adapted such that it reads power curve data from a file instead of using a parameterised power curve. Since version 3.4 WRF incorporates a parameterisation to improve the effects produced by topography over the surface winds (Jimenez and Dudhia, 2012, 2013). The parameterisation allows for the speed up of the flow over mountains and hills and to represent the drag exerted by the unresolved topography over plains and valleys.

Valuation of travel time savings and reductions in risk of road accidents: application to the evaluation of transport projects

The objective of this Project is to determine the value of travel time savings as well as the willingness to pay for reducing the risk of accidents in order to use these figures in the social evaluation of transport projects. In this study, the team analysed both passengers and freight transport, and will make a thorough analysis of all the methodological issues that should be followed in transportation demand studies and project evaluation. The project illustrates theoretical results with several empirical applications that could be used by the Spanish Ministry of Transport as reference case studies.

DFT calculation of the surface structures of different adsorbates on transition metals

Optimised hexanethiolate surface structures on Au(111)

Metallic nanoparticles (NPs) appear as promising materials to be used in biomedicine, as efficient catalysts and electrocatalysts, and as active elements in electronic and sensing devices. The most common strategy to protect these NPs is by using thiolate self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), a strategy that has proved useful to control the physical and chemical properties of extended solid surfaces. However, the knowledge of structure and chemistry of thiol-metal interfaces yet remain elusive, although it is crucial for understanding how NPs interact with molecules, biomolecules and living cells, and also for a better design of NP-based devices. This work strives to show the complexity of the thiol-metal NP interface. If the size of the metallic core is large the NP interface properties approach those of SAMs on planar surfaces.

Atmospheric numerical prediction

In the framework of a multidisciplinary research project (characterisation and modelling of the Saharan dust deposition in La Graciosa), the group contributed to modelling a high resolution wind field of an event in March 2004, showing that Saharan air flows are able to lift and carry particles of coarse sand, which appear in La Graciosa.

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