It took four years for the CONVERGE User Conference–India to return, but when it did, it was worth the wait. It was a whirlwind week packed with technical presentations from the Indian CONVERGE community, CONVERGE training, networking events, and two application workshops to round it off.
Yajuvendra Singh Shekhawat, general manager of Convergent Science India, kicked off the conference with opening remarks that highlighted some of the exciting areas in which CONVERGE is being used. He emphasized the challenges presented by climate change, particularly in the transportation sector, and how CFD simulations will “play a vital role in helping engineers around the world come up with innovative solutions for these technologies, be it electric powertrains or propulsion systems developed using alternate fuels.” Introducing the keynote speakers of the day, Scott E. Parrish from General Motors and Hariganesh R. from Reliance Industries, Yajuvendra reiterated that Convergent Science is committed to making a significant impact on the future of mobility in India.
Our first keynote speaker, Scott E. Parrish, joined us virtually from Detroit. He spoke in detail about how his team at General Motors is employing CONVERGE to develop vital components of the electric powertrain. Scott showcased some of his team’s work using CONVERGE to perform battery thermal runaway and electric motor cooling simulations. Following Scott, presentations from Simple Energy and oorja.energy focused on thermal runaway propagation in battery packs. It was evident from the first set of presentations that thermal runaway is one of the hottest (literally!) topics in the Indian EV industry, particularly given the spate of incidents that occurred last summer.
Next, our own Tristan Burton, director of new applications at Convergent Science, talked about how CONVERGE is tackling some of the uncertainties in predicting battery thermal runaway behavior. Engaging the audience through memes and GIFs, Tristan’s message to battery engineers was loud and clear: we must account for the uncertainties in the performance of battery cells to achieve truly predictive CFD simulations. Tristan pointed out that the best solution to resolve variations in battery performance is to turn to a specific branch of mathematics: statistics!
The coffee break gave attendees an opportunity to appreciate Tristan’s meme selection. (It’s no wonder that Tristan is Kelly’s go-to person for memes!) Following the break, it was time to move on from emobility to some of the other application areas where CONVERGE excels. Our speakers discussed how CONVERGE is making an impact in wind turbines, aftertreatment systems, and rail applications.
Following a sumptuous lunch, we switched gears to focus on alternative fuels with a special emphasis on hydrogen. No one embodied the excitement over developments in the area of alternative fuels more than our second keynote speaker of the day, Hariganesh R. from Reliance Industries. Hariganesh gave a rousing speech outlining Reliance Industries’ vision to develop hydrogen combustion technology in India. Just a week before the Indian user conference, Reliance Industries launched India’s first-ever hydrogen-powered heavy-duty truck. To quote Hariganesh, “It was pure ecstasy to witness water coming out of the exhaust pipes.” Hariganesh highlighted the vital role Convergent Science could play in the hydrogen revolution envisioned by Reliance Industries. Keeping in line with the theme of alternative fuels, presenters from Volvo GTT, FEV, Wabtec, RNTBCI, and Quest Global discussed some of their latest research, focusing particularly on hydrogen combustion simulations.
To cap off the technical presentations, Keith Richards, co-founder and vice president of Convergent Science, showcased some of the exciting new features coming soon in CONVERGE. Longtime users appreciated the update on CONVERGE development efforts and are quite eager to get their hands on the upcoming releases. Kelly Senecal, co-founder and vice president of Convergent Science, concluded the day with his closing remarks. Kelly emphasized the importance of exploring a variety of technology solutions in the transportation industry, because different technologies make sense in different scenarios. In this day and age, where governments are rushing to favor one technology over another, Kelly said it was important to evaluate technologies based on data and not on emotion.
The technical presentation session was followed by a lively networking event featuring a trivia competition with attractive prizes. Special bonus questions earned special prizes: two copies of Racing Toward Zero, personally signed by Kelly, were up for grabs. After several rounds of questions on topics reflecting the theme of our conference, Team Eclectic emerged as the winner. The evening ended with a delicious dinner, thereby concluding a full and satisfying day of technical presentations and networking events at the 2023 CONVERGE User Conference–India.