Wind energy software

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Specialized wind energy software applications aid in the development and operation of wind farms.

Pre-feasibility and feasibility analysis[edit]

The RETScreen software wind power model is designed to evaluate energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for central-grid, isolated-grid and off-grid wind energy projects, for multi-turbine and single-turbine hybrid systems. Developed by the Government of Canada, the software is free, multilingual, and includes links to wind energy resource maps.

The Wind Data Generator (WDG) is a Wind Energy Software tool capable of running WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) model to create a wind atlas and to generate wind data at resolutions of 3 km to 10 km.

Turbine design[edit]

Software helps design wind turbines. There are several aero-elastic packages that are used in this design process.

FOCUS6 aids in the design of wind turbines and turbine components such as rotor blades. It was developed by Knowledge Centre Wind turbine Materials and Constructions (WMC)[1] and Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).[2]

The National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), a division of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has developed many packages which are used by turbine manufacturers and researchers. NWTC has developed a suite of turbine design and performance prediction codes which rely on Blade Element Momentum (BEM) theory. WT_Perf uses steady BEM theory to model turbine performance. FAST is a comprehensive aero-elastic simulator which uses unsteady BEM theory to model a turbine as a collection of rigid and flexible bodies in a spatiotemporal field of turbulent flow. Germanischer Lloyd found FAST suitable for "the calculation of onshore wind turbine loads for design and certification."[3][4]

The open source software QBlade developed by the wind energy research group of Hermann Föttinger Institute of TU Berlin (Chair of Fluid Dynamics) is a BEM code coupled with the airfoil simulation code XFOIL. It allows the user to develop/import airfoil shapes, simulate them and use them for the design and simulation of wind turbine blades/rotors with the use of steady state BEM theory. The software is built with the Qt framework thus it includes a graphical user interface.

The open source software Vortexje, developed by Baayen & Heinz GmbH in Berlin, is an unsteady 3D panel method implementation suitable for dynamic simulation of vertical and horizontal axis wind turbines. Easily coupled with other simulation environments such as Simulink and Dymola, it is suitable for aerodynamic optimization, fluid-structure interaction problems, and unsteady control system simulation.

Ashes is a software package for analysing aerodynamic and mechanical forces for onshore and offshore horizontal axel wind turbines. It is based on research done at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Turbine design engineering software
Software Publisher Latest stable version License Certified
Ashes [5] SIMIS as 3.1.0 proprietary No
Bladed DNV GL 4.7 proprietary Yes
Fast NREL 8.12 open source Yes
Flex DTU Lyngby 5 proprietary Yes
FOCUS6 WMC 6 proprietary No
HAWC2 DTU Wind Energy 12.2 proprietary No
QBlade TU Berlin 0.8 open source No
Simpack Simpack 2017.2 proprietary No
Vortexje Baayen & Heinz GmbH - open source No

Flow modeling[edit]

Wind flow modeling software predicts important wind characteristics at locations where measurements are not available. WAsP was created at Denmarks' Risø National Laboratory. WAsP uses a potential flow model to predict how wind flows over terrain at a site. Meteodyn WT, Windie, WindSim, WindStation and the opensource code ZephyTOOLS[6] use computational fluid dynamics instead, which are potentially more accurate, but more computationally intensive.[7]

Flow modelling software
Software Publisher Latest stable version License Certified
Continuum Cancalia/One Energy 2.2.5 proprietary -
WAsP DTU Wind Energy 11 proprietary Yes
WindSim Vector AS 8.0 opensource Yes
Meteodyn WT Meteodyn 6.1 proprietary Yes
ZephyCFD Zephy-Science 16.03 GPL3 Yes
WindStation menzio GmbH 1.3.21 proprietary -
Windie Windie Lda. - proprietary -

Farm modeling[edit]

This software simulates wind farm behavior, most importantly to calculate its energy output. The user can usually input wind data, height and roughness contour lines (topography), turbine specifications, background maps, and define environmental restrictions. Processing this information produces the design of a wind farm that maximizes energy production while accounting for restrictions and construction issues. Packages include Meteodyn WT, openWind, WindFarm, WindFarmer, WindPRO and WindSim.

Farm visualization[edit]

Wind farm visualization software graphically presents a proposed wind farm, most importantly for the purpose of obtaining building permits. The primary techniques include photomontages, zone-of-visual-impact maps and three-dimensional visualization (perspective views of the landscape often incorporating aerial photography and including turbines and other objects).

Farm visualization software
Software Publisher Latest stable version License Certified
Furow Solute Ingenieros 1.3 proprietary Yes
openWind AWS Truepower proprietary Yes
WindPRO EMD International A/S 3.2 proprietary
Meteodyn WT Meteodyn 6.1 proprietary Yes
ZephyCFD Zephy-Science 16.03 GPL3 Yes
Windplanner The Imagineers v3 proprietary
WindFarmer DNV GL 5.3 proprietary

Farm monitoring[edit]

Wind farm monitoring software is a software that allows people to see if the wind turbines are running well or are going to become broken. Other functions of monitoring software is reporting, analysis of measurement data (power curve) and tools for monitoring of environmental constraints (bat control, etc.).

Farm monitoring software
Software Publisher Latest stable version License Certified
Clir Clir Renewables Inc proprietary
ROTORsoft DrehPunkt GmbH proprietary
Meteodyn SPA Meteodyn 2.2 proprietary Yes

Prediction software[edit]

For existing wind farms, several software systems exist which produce short and medium term forecasts for the generated power (single farms or complete forecast regions) using existing numerical weather prediction data (NWP) and live (SCADA) farm data as input. Examples of numerical weather prediction models used for this purpose are the European HiRLAM (High Resolution Limited Area Model) and the GFS (Global Forecast System) from NOAA.


  1. ^ Knowledge Centre Wind turbine Materials and Constructions (WMC)
  2. ^ Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands
  3. ^ GL Wind Certificate No. ZZ 001A-2005
  4. ^ NWTC Design Codes
  5. ^ "A Novel Tool for Fem Analysis of Offshore Wind Turbines with Innovative Visualization Techniques">“A Novel Tool for Fem Analysis of Offshore Wind Turbines with Innovative Visualization Techniques.” In 22nd International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, June 2012
  6. ^ RECHARGE NEWS "New software could make wind farm planning a breeze"
  7. ^ Pereira, R; Guedes, Ricardo; Silva Santos, Carlos (2010-01-01). "Comparing WAsP and CFD wind resource estimates for the "regular" user".