Wind Data and Tools
The wind energy researchers, scientists, and analysts working within NREL's National Wind Technology Center and wind energy program maintain open-source data sets and develop multifidelity predictive modeling and simulation capabilities to benefit the wind energy industry.
The tools formerly hosted on the National Wind Technology Center's archived information portal, an open-source library for wind and water power research, are now included on this page.
The software and data are primarily for the benefit of the U.S. government and organizations that collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office. Others are welcome to use the software and data, but please note that they are meant for professionals with expertise in wind or water power technologies and are subject to a data use disclaimer agreement.
The NREL Annual Technology Baseline provides a consistent set of technology cost and performance data for energy analysis.
The Annual Technology Baseline identifies technology-specific cost and performance parameters or other investment decision metrics across a range of fuel price conditions as well as site-specific conditions for electric generation technologies at present and with projections through 2050.
Cambium data sets contain hourly emission, cost, and operational data for modeled futures of the U.S. electric sector with metrics designed to be useful for long-term decision-making.
Cambium was built to expand the metrics reported in NREL’s Standard Scenarios—an annually released set of projections of how the U.S. electric sector could evolve across a suite of different potential futures, looking ahead through 2050.
See data from the 135-meter turbine inflow research towers at NREL's Flatirons Campus, which are used to measure the atmospheric conditions and winds that flow into the site.
This data catalog collects and maintains publicly accessible data resulting from federally funded research conducted by NREL's National Wind Technology Center researchers and analysts. Visitors can search for data sets or browse a listing of all submissions.
Based on a wiki platform, OpenEI is becoming a global leader in the energy data realm—specifically analyses of renewable energy and energy efficiency. OpenEI's growing community of users can view, edit, add, and download data.
The materials database provides a comprehensive compilation of the type, quantity, country of origin, source, significant uses, projected availability, and physical properties of materials used by wind and solar power technologies.
Accurate documentation of the wind patterns around the United States helps researchers determine the best sites for wind power plants. Wind maps can also help determine the wind resource potential for specific locations.
NREL supplies access to several types of tools and data sets to explore wind geospatial data for the contiguous United States and several international regions and countries.
Find and download wind resource map images and geospatial data for North America, the contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
NREL has developed an interactive map and geospatial data showing wind supply curves, which characterize the quantity and quality of land-based and offshore wind resources.
The Knowledge Base provides access to a range of information about the environmental effects of wind energy. Relevant publications from around the world are compiled into a user-friendly table that allows users to sort content by type, technology, stressor, and receptor.
The Circular Economy Lifecycle Assessment and Visualization (CELAVI) framework is a dynamic and flexible tool that models the impacts of clean energy (including wind energy) supply chains during the transition from a linear to a circular economy.
The Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool (CREST) contains economic, cash-flow models designed to assess project economics, design cost-based incentives, and evaluate the impact of state and federal support structures on renewable energy, including wind energy.
The Distributed Generation Market Demand (dGen™) model simulates customer adoption of distributed energy resources, including wind energy, for residential, commercial, and industrial entities in the United States or other countries through 2050.
NREL's demand-side grid (dsgrid) model harnesses decades of sector-specific (including wind) energy modeling expertise to create comprehensive electricity load data sets at high temporal, geographic, sectoral, and end-use resolution to understand current and future U.S. electricity load for power systems analyses.
ExaWind is an open-source suite of codes designed for multi-fidelity simulation of wind turbines and wind farms, including high-fidelity simulations that resolve scales going from micron-scale boundary layers around turbine blades up kilometer-scale turbulent atmospheric flow.
Also included are the capability to run actuator-line and -disk simulations. ExaWind is composed of three physics-based codes: AMR-Wind, Nalu-Wind, and OpenFAST. AMR-Wind and Nalu-Wind are computational fluid dynamics codes that are highly scalable on modern supercomputers including those accelerated with graphical-processing units (GPU) and are designed with sustainable software engineering methods. OpenFAST is the whole-turbine simulation code. ExaWind provides a computer-generated environment where researchers and engineers can test ideas, including potentially disruptive technology, before moving forward with development.
ExaWind development is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office and Exascale Computing Project.
FLORIS provides a computationally inexpensive, controls-oriented modeling tool of the steady-state wake characteristics in a wind farm. This open-source software framework models turbine interactions in planned and existing wind power plants, and can be used to design and analyze wind farm control strategies and wind farm layout optimizations.
A standardized tool for producing operational analyses of wind power plants, OpenOA identifies and analyzes the drivers of wind farm performance. The first open-source software tool of its kind, OpenOA helps wind industry professionals make more accurate predictions and more informed decisions in their work, thereby reducing investment risk.
The REopt web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of distributed wind energy and other renewable energy sources, identify system sizes and dispatch strategies to minimize energy costs, and estimate how long a system can sustain critical load during a grid outage.
The Renewable Energy Potential (reV) model model is a first-of-its-kind detailed spatiotemporal modeling assessment tool that empowers users to calculate renewable energy capacity, generation, and cost based on geospatial intersection with grid infrastructure and land-use characteristics. Available as open source since February 2020, the reV model currently supports wind turbine technologies.
The Stochastic Soaring Raptor Simulator (SSRS) is designed to predict movements of soaring raptors (such as golden eagles) with the goal of determining potential negative interactions between soaring raptors and wind turbines. SSRS uses a stochastic agent-based model for simulating a large number of wind- riding eagle paths at turbine-scale resolution using the atmospheric conditions at a specific time and the ground features (altitude, slope, aspect) at a particular site. SSRS can be applied to any rectangular region within the United States without the need for any eagle-centric or atmosphere-related data collection efforts, using only publicly available data sources. SSRS outputs a presence density map, which could be used to design tailored collision-mitigation measures or for future plant siting.
More details can be found in this program news article and the following publication:
Stochastic Agent-Based Model for Predicting Turbine-Scale Raptor Movements During Updraft-Subsidized Directional Flights, Ecological Modeling (2022).
WindSE is an open-source computational fluid dynamics code designed for wind turbine or wind farm simulations, optimization, and uncertainty quantification studies. Written in Python using the FEniCS finite element library, WindSE includes tools to automatically obtain adjoint gradients for efficient optimization and sensitivity analysis in high dimensions.
WISDEM®, NREL's core systems engineering software tool, integrates a full set of wind turbine and plant models for holistic system analysis. It includes modules for a full suite of wind plant models, including turbine aerodynamics, component structural analysis, component costs, plant operations and maintenance costs, financial models, wind plant layouts, and wind turbine aeroelastic simulations.
One of the modules hosted within the WISDEM tool set—NREL's Land-based Balance of System Systems Engineering (LandBOSSE)—can be used to estimate the balance-of-system costs associated with onsite wind power plant construction at land-based wind plants. The modules, which can be run individually or collectively, are built on NASA's OpenMDAO software.
These engineering tools range from preprocessors to help build models, simulators to perform the analysis, postprocessors to analyze the results, and utilities to run and manage the processing tasks.
SS_Fitting is a MATLAB toolbox designed to provide a state-space model based on the WAMIT output files.
The MSC.ADAMS-to-AeroDyn (ADAMS2AD) interface is a software package for simulating the coupled dynamic response of horizontal-axis wind turbines.
AeroDyn is an aerodynamics software library (module) for use by designers of horizontal-axis wind turbines
FAST.Farm, via GitHub, extends the capabilities of OpenFAST to provide multiphysics-based engineering simulation of wind farms: land-based, fixed-bottom offshore, and floating offshore. FAST.Farm can simulate each wind turbine in the farm with an OpenFAST model, capture relevant physics for prediction of wind farm power performance and structural loads, and predict the ultimate and fatigue loads of each wind turbine in the farm.
IceDyn and IceFloe are sets of routines that calculate time-domain loads induced by surface ice on offshore substructures.
The Mooring Analysis Program (MAP++) is a library designed to be used in parallel with other engineering tools to model the steady-state forces on a Multi-Segmented, Quasi-Static mooring line.
MoorDyn is a lumped-mass mooring line model for simulating the dynamics of moorings connected to floating offshore structures.
GitHub-based MoorPy is a computationally efficient mooring system design tool developed by NREL for floating offshore wind energy structures.
OpenFAST provides state-of-the-art simulation of individual wind turbines: land based, fixed-bottom offshore, and floating offshore. OpenFAST has the ability to model wind turbine loads, consider a range of wind turbine configurations, and enable standards-based loads analysis for predicting wind system ultimate and fatigue loads.
SOWFA (Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications) is a set of computational fluid dynamics solvers, boundary conditions, and turbine models. SOWFA employs computational fluid dynamics to enable users to investigate wind turbine and wind power plant performance under a full range of atmospheric conditions and terrain. With this tool, researchers and wind power plant designers can examine and minimize the impact of turbine wakes on overall plant performance. Read the SOWFA fact sheet.
Crunch is a software utility that performs several types of post-processing analyses for one or more files.
MBC is a set of MATLAB scripts that performs multi-blade coordinate (MBC) transformation on wind turbine system models.
MExtremes (pronounced em-extremes) is a set of MATLABscripts that generate extreme-event tables for one or more time series.
Blade Fatigue Static (BladeFS) is a MATLAB script that was developed to determine loads and deflections associated with fatigue and static structural testing of wind turbine blades using matrix based finite element analysis.
Horizontal Axis Rotor Performance Optimization (HARP_Opt) utilizes a multiple-objective genetic algorithm and blade-element momentum theory flow model to design horizontal-axis wind and hydrokinetic turbine rotors.
NREL AirFoil Noise (NAFNoise) is a program that predicts the noise of any airfoil shape for five different types of noise sources.