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Virtual Tool Update Boosts Performance and Enhances Energy Technology Development

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) recently implemented a significant update to the Energy Data eXchange (EDX), a virtual platform for public curation and functionality to promote data-driven collaboration on research from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE). The update offers improved and streamlined functionality so data from a wide variety of sources can be accessed with ease through a secure platform to further FE’s development of critical energy technologies.

NETL and other DOE entities rely on previous research across many sources and platforms to deliver the next generation of energy advancements. Many resources critical to FE were previously stored as paper-based assets or saved on outdated forms of media. This made the discoverability, accessibility and reuse of valuable data from those studies challenging, if not impossible, to support FE research needs.

EDX was developed as a solution to these issues to support the entire lifecycle of energy data. Created in 2011 at the onset of the virtual data computing era and maintained by researchers and technical computing teams from NETL, EDX provides a fully online and easily accessible data curation and collaboration platform for researchers to efficiently locate and utilize relevant information, collaborate among multi-agency teams, securely share data and ensure preservation of products over time.

EDX coordinates historical and current data and information from a variety of sources to facilitate access to research that spans multiple projects and programs. At NETL, the tool has been used to enhance the Lab’s Multiphase Flow with Interphase eXchanges (MFiX) code, the Offshore Risk Modeling Suite and several other award-winning technologies.

As with any technology-driven resource, the EDX development and operations team recently identified the need for a major version upgrade to the system. Now in its third major update, EDX 3.0 utilizes newer technologies, including big-data and machine learning enhanced resources, to further optimize, secure and analyze its data-sharing environment while continuing to provide an adaptable user-driven experience for both NETL and the Lab’s partners and colleagues.

By optimizing the codebase of EDX in the latest update, system performance improves along with more streamlined functionality. Users to EDX 3.0 will experience useful in-browser notifications, enhanced data review workflows, data indexing performance improvement and more, which helps simplify the process of uploading and locating data for users. On top of significant performance improvements, the user interface experience has also been enhanced to give a cleaner, more open feel.

“The update allows EDX to continue to meet FE’s data curation and collaboration needs inside an ever-changing technological landscape,” Kelly Rose, a member of NETL’s Geo-Analysis & Monitoring Team who leads EDX development, said. “EDX leverages advanced computing with virtualization technologies to preserve the products of FE research and development while driving the next generation of data-driven breakthroughs. With improved functionality, EDX can continue aiding researchers in developing the groundbreaking energy technologies of the future.”

To learn more about EDX, go here.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that produces technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. From developing creative innovations and efficient energy systems that make coal more competitive, to advancing technologies that enhance oil and natural gas extraction and transmission processes, NETL research is providing breakthroughs and discoveries that support domestic energy initiatives, stimulate a growing economy, and improve the health, safety, and security of all Americans. Highly skilled men and women at NETL’s sites in Albany, Oregon; Anchorage, Alaska; Houston, Texas; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania conduct a broad range of research activities that support DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.