Modeling and Validation

NREL's unique simulation capabilities allow for systems engineering design and optimization alongside high-fidelity modeling and validation.

Graphic of wind modeling tool.

NREL develops and maintains open-source modeling tools for wind turbine designers, manufacturers, consultants, certifiers, researchers, and educators. Our suite of models and high-performance computing codes are capable of simulating the behavior of wind power technologies in complex environments—such as storm winds, waves offshore, earthquake loading, and extreme turbulence—and modeling the effects of turbulent inflow, unsteady aerodynamic forces, structural dynamics, drivetrain response, control systems, and hydrodynamic loading for offshore applications. We specialize in developing preprocessors to help build the models, postprocessors to analyze the results, and utilities to run and manage the processing tasks.

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See a summary slide deck of NREL's wind-energy-related modeling and validation capabilities, research, and projects. Explore more below.

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High-Fidelity Modeling and Validation

Using our high-performance-computing capabilities, NREL's high- and mid-fidelity predictive simulations are designed to create a deeper understanding of complex flow physics and turbine dynamics.

Areas of Expertise

  • High- and mid-fidelity modeling of fluids and structures​
  • High-performance computing​
  • Validation, predictive modeling, and simulation​
  • Software engineering for open-source community codes​

Engineering Modeling and Validation

NREL enables the development of advanced wind plant technologies by leveraging knowledge and data to improve physics-based engineering design competence and tools. We work collaboratively with the wind energy community to develop, validate, and apply engineering tools at the wind turbine, offshore support structure, and full wind plant levels.

Areas of Expertise

  • Develop, verify, and validate physics-based engineering tools
  • Loads analyses
  • Identify design-driving conditions

Systems Engineering and Optimization

Our team applies a variety of advanced analysis methods in multidisciplinary design analysis and optimization to the study of wind plant system performance and cost. We are working to develop a common platform and toolset that promotes collaborative research and analysis among national laboratories, industry, and academia.

Areas of Expertise

  • Modeling wind turbines and plants together, multidisciplinary analyses, and overall cost of energy
  • Assessing system engineering and cost impacts of technology or logistic innovations