Skip to main content

2010 Wind Energy Systems Engineering Workshop

The 1st NREL Wind Energy Systems Engineering Workshop took place on December 14, 2010, at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC). The workshop included a range of invited speakers from academia, industry, and international research laboratories.

Illustration of the system engineering model. In the middle of the model is optimization, metric tracking, scenario evaluations, and assess effect on individual changes on cost of energy. Surrounding this are the turbine aeroelastic model, inflow turbulence model, wind plan layout and interactions, resource model, O&M model, capital cost model, and balance of station.

Systems engineering represents a holistic approach to design, where significant engineering components and life-cycle costs of the product are modeled in the design process. Systems engineering approaches are used routinely outside of the wind industry and can result in significant performance improvements and savings in capital and operating costs. In spite of the fact that many levels of wind energy design are closely coupled, from individual components to long term system operational plans, a framework that spans the range of scales for wind plant design does not exist today.

To fill this gap, NREL's workshop had two goals. First, outline the requirements for a systems engineering approach in wind plant design through the development of an open and flexible systems engineering framework that can be used for the multidisciplinary analysis and design of complete wind energy plants; and second, to discuss feasible methods for implementing a tool to accomplish the former.

The workshop participants agreed on a framework that will: 1) provide governmental agencies (e.g. DOE) with a validated tool to evaluate the impact of new technologies on overall cost of energy and deployment scenarios, and 2) provide the wind industry with a systems engineering design tool that can be used to design, optimize, and operate future wind plants more effectively across the diverse stakeholder groups.

A white paper to describe the path forward will be drafted for public comment in the coming months. A portion of the paper will examine current tools and capabilities, as well as cost modeling capabilities and gaps, to create a path forward for development of a comprehensive tool.

Learn more about the workshop and watch the slide presentation:

Meeting Agenda and Presentations