The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre


Pawsey staff visit to Carnegie Wave Energy

L-R: Brian Skjerven, Dr Ashkan Rafiee, Jonathan Fievez & George Beckett in front of CETO 5.

L-R: Brian Skjerven, Dr Ashkan Rafiee, Jonathan Fievez & George Beckett in front of a CETO 5 Buoyant Actuator.

Recently, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre staff were given a firsthand look at one of Carnegie Wave Energy’s latest CETO 5 Buoyant Actuators.

The tour was led by Carnegie Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Fievez and Hydrodynamics Specialist Ashkan Rafiee and showcased a fantastic Western Australian success story produced by a project using Pawsey Supercomputing Centre resources and expertise.

Carnegie is based in Perth, and since 1999 has been developing their CETO wave energy technology, which is designed to be simpler and more robust than competing technologies.

The CETO system uses fully submerged buoys to drive seabed pump units, which then deliver high pressure fluid onshore to hydroelectric turbines. This can then be used to generate zero-emission electricity as well as to power seawater desalination. Being fully submerged, these buoys are safer from extreme weather conditions and invisible from shore.

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre staff were shown one of the latest and largest CETO 5 units, a 240kW, 11-metre diameter steel buoy that has recently been brought back onshore after six months operation at sea. The unit was used to generate electricity and power water desalination for HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base. The unit comprises the 55 tonne buoy, which is attached to a seabed pump by a high strength flexible rope.

Mr Fievez showcasing CETO 5 seabed pump unit to Pawsey staff.

Mr Fievez showcases CETO 5 seabed pump unit to Pawsey staff.

Carnegie, in partnership with Curtin University researchers, has used Pawsey’s resources since early 2014. Carnegie use the petascale Magnus to generate complex, fine-resolution fluid dynamics simulations that would be intractable on anything other than a supercomputer.

These simulations guide key design decisions, such as for optimising power extraction, simulating conditions during both installation and operation of the units, as well as modeling different buoy shapes to obtain the best balance between power generation, sturdiness and ease of manufacturing.


“Supercomputing is invaluable to us,” says Mr Fievez.

“Nothing compares to the speed we can get using these resources.”

With the knowledge gained from using Pawsey’s resources & expertise, coupled with the real-world use of CETO 5 and its predecessors, Carnegie is well underway with the design of its next generation CETO 6. The CETO 6 design has increased in size to approximately 20 m in diameter and will incorporate the power generation and hydraulic system within the buoy, removing the need for heavy seabed infrastructure thereby reducing installation and maintenance time and cost. CETO 6 has a targeted power capacity of 1MW and Carnegie aims to demonstrate a 3MW project starting construction in 2017.

Carnegie hope to use the power of Magnus to couple their CFD and hydraulic models, leading to improved and more accurate simulations in future.

“I really appreciate the support and expertise we can get from Pawsey,” says Dr Rafiee.

Pawsey Deputy Director George Beckett, who attended the tour, says “it is amazing to see the level of innovation that is present in Western Australia, and heartening to see that through the provision of world-class supercomputing equipment and expertise, ventures such as Carnegie Wave Energy can gain a valuable boost towards making a difference to some of the planet’s biggest challenges.”

To learn more about Carnegie Wave Energy, please visit their website at

Visualisation of CETO CFD simulations undertaken on Magnus,

Visualisation of CETO CFD simulations undertaken on Magnus. Image courtesy of Dr Ashkan Rafiee.










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