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Water Power Data and Tools

NREL researchers develop and host a range of computer modeling tools and data with state-of-the-art design and analysis.

Photo of a buoy designed around the oscillating water column principle in which the turbine captures the energy of the wave and the generator converts this energy to electrical power.


The Wave Energy Converter Simulator (WEC-Sim) is an open-source simulation tool for wave energy converters. WEC-Sim has the ability to model devices that comprise rigid bodies, power take-off systems, and mooring systems. The simulations involve solving the governing equations of motion in six degrees of freedom. See the WEC-Sim web page on the National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal as well as a WEC-Sim fact sheet.

WEC Design Response Toolbox

The WEC Design Response Toolbox provides extreme response and fatigue analysis tools specifically for design analysis of ocean structures such as wave energy converters.

MHK Atlas

The MHK Atlas is an interactive mapping tool developed to explore potential for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) resources. The MHK Atlas depicts and maps U.S. wave energy, tidal, ocean, ocean thermal, and riverine current resources in the United States. Users can explore several variables in each of these mapped resource types using data layers.


Originally developed for the wind industry, TurbSim provides a numerical simulation of the fluid inflow to an energy device, including turbulence. Its purpose is to provide device designers with the ability to drive their design code simulations with simulated inflow turbulence environments that incorporate many of the important fluid dynamic features known to adversely affect the device response and loading on the equipment. See the TurbSim web page on the National Wind Technology Center's Information Portal.


Horizontal Axis Rotor Performance Optimization (HARP_Opt) optimizes a rotor's performance for steady and uniform flows. A variety of rotor control configurations, including fixed or variable rotor speed and fixed or variable blade pitch configurations, can be designed using HARP_Opt. In addition, blades with circular or non-circular roots can be designed using HARP_Opt.


The Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) models are user-friendly screening tools that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power plants, fuel production facilities, and other projects at the local (usually state) level. Based on user-entered project-specific data or default inputs (derived from industry norms), JEDI estimates the number of jobs and economic impacts to a local area that can reasonably be supported by a power plant, fuel production facility, or other project.