Wind turbine design software can help wind industry reach 2.8 terawatts by 2050

Wind turbineThe recently merged DNV GL has signed a contract to supply the 500th commercial licence of its Bladed wind turbine design software.

Bladed is trusted by manufacturers and certification agencies around the world for the calculation of turbine design loads and performance. It has contributed to the successful development and operation of thousands of turbines.

In the same month that Bladed reached this milestone, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report remarking on the near doubling of installed wind capacity – to 300GW – in the last five years. The IEA also revised its projection of wind energy’s share of global electricity supply by 2050 to 18% – up from the target of 12% set in 2009.

The Agency’s wind energy roadmap report cites wind energy’s progress in reducing cost through improved energy yield and reduced operational costs as the principal factor behind its recent growth. The report goes on to single out rigorous wind turbine design as central to improving performance, underscoring the importance of turbine design to wind energy’s success.

By modelling the underlying physics, Bladed can simulate every aspect of a wind turbine. At the core of the package is a rigorous and self-consistent multibody structural dynamics simulation engine. Additional, detailed models represent the wind, aerodynamics, electrical dynamics, control systems, sea state and hydrodynamics.

The 500th licence marks a significant milestone and demonstrates Bladed’s position as the world’s leading wind turbine design software. As the wind energy industry strives to continue pushing down costs, it has never been more important to optimise the design of a wind turbine with rigorous numerical modelling tools.

Commenting on the landmark, David Quarton, Senior Technical Advisor for wind turbine technology at DNV GL – which recently opened a new office in Glasgow – said: “Since the sale of the first licence in 1993, Bladed has moved from being a research code with a first generation user interface to a robust and sophisticated commercial software package with the quality, capability and support demanded by the wind industry.

“There is no doubt that Bladed is firmly established as the pre-eminent software tool of its kind and we are immensely proud that it has been used around the globe in the design and certification of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of wind turbines and components of all shapes and sizes. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the users of Bladed and to further developing and extending the software to meet their future needs.”

Reaching the IEA’s projection of 2.8 terawatts of operational wind capacity by 2050 will demand further cost reduction in all areas of wind energy technology, not least through the continued advancement of turbine design.



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