OpenFAST is an open-source wind turbine simulation tool that was established with the FAST v8 code as its starting point.

All ongoing FAST developments now take place in OpenFAST. OpenFAST represents a transition to better support an open-source developer community across research laboratories, industry, and academia around FAST-based aero-hydro-servo-elastic engineering models of wind-turbines and wind-plants. OpenFAST aims to provide a solid software-engineering framework for FAST development including well documented source code, extensive automated regression and unit testing, and a robust multi-platform and compiler build system.

OpenFAST includes the following organizational changes relative to FAST v8.16:

  • A new GitHub repository has been established; the OpenFAST glue codes, modules, module drivers, and compiling tools are contained within the single repository.
  • The FAST program has been renamed OpenFAST (starting from OpenFAST v1.0.0).
  • Version numbering has been updated for OpenFAST (starting from OpenFAST v1.0.0).
  • Because all modules are contained in the same repository, the version numbers of each module have been eliminated and now use the OpenFAST version number (starting from OpenFAST v1.0.0) though old documentation may still refer to old version numbers
  • The OpenFAST regression test baseline solutions (formerly the Certification Tests or CertTest) reside in a standalone repository (starting from OpenFAST v1.0.0).
  • Unit testing has been introduced at the subroutine level (starting with BeamDyn from OpenFAST v1.0.0).
  • An online documentation system has been established to replace existing documentation of FAST v8. During the transition to OpenFAST, most user-related documentation is still provided, specifically with FAST v7.02.00d-bjj and FAST v8.
  • Cross platform compiling is accomplished with CMake on Mac, Linux, and Cygwin (Windows) systems.
  • Visual Studio Projects are provided for compiling OpenFAST on Windows (starting from OpenFAST v1.0.0).
  • GitHub Issues has been made the primary platform for developers to report and track bugs, request feature enhancements, and to ask questions related to the source code, compiling, and regression/unit testing.
  • A new API has been added that provides a high level interface to run OpenFAST through a C++ driver code helping to interface OpenFAST with external programs like CFD solvers written in C++ (starting in OpenFAST v1.0.0).

This software was developed by Jason Jonkman, Ph.D.Mike Sprague, Ph.D., and colleagues of NREL.


The OpenFAST repository on GitHub provides access to the newest and historical versions of OpenFAST.