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Systems Engineering Models and Tools

The NREL Systems Engineering Initiative develops, integrates, and analyzes wind energy system models and tools.


NREL has developed an overall integrated system analysis tool called the Wind-Plant Integrated System Design and Engineering Model (NREL WISDEM®). 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 toolset—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.


Open Multi-Disciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization (OpenMDAO), designed by NASA Glenn Research Center, is an open-source software package built in the Python programming language that integrates complex models for multi-disciplinary analysis work that may include sensitivity analysis, design of experiments, meta-modeling, uncertainty quantification, or optimization. It provides standard processes for wrapping individual simulation codes into OpenMDAO modules known as "components," which can then be connected together to create analysis "assemblies." These components and assemblies are then connected to "drivers" for a particular analysis. OpenMDAO provides several built-in drivers, and additional plugins have been created for other open-source drivers.

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