System Modeling Frameworks for Wind Turbines and Plants: Review and Requirements Specifications

Pietro Bortolotti, Christopher Bay, Garrett Barter, Evan Gaertner, Katherine Dykes, Michael McWilliam, Mikkel Friis-Moller, Mads Molgaard Pedersen, Frederik Zahle

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


System modeling frameworks for wind turbines and plants are used by research groups and industry to design wind energy systems that take into account key trade-offs across performance, cost, and reliability at both the turbine and plant level. The frameworks are exercised using a variety of multi-disciplinary design, analysis and optimization (MDAO) methods. To improve inter-operability and foster collaboration, this report proposes a classification system for the frameworks along dimensions of model fidelity and scope. The classification system is first motivated with reviews the state-of-the-art in the development of software frameworks for integrated wind turbine and plant simulation. Within each major wind turbine and power plant subsystem, a matrix is developed for the disciplines used and the fidelity levels with which each discipline can be modeled. The existing frameworks are then classified according to the matrix. Next, an ontology is proposed that will allow for standardizing how data is transferred between the most common discipline-fidelity combinations used in the frameworks. A common representation of data creates the ability to 1) share system descriptions and analysis results, supporting more transparent benchmarks and comparison, and 2) integrate models together into workflows within and across organizations for improving the efficiency and performance of wind turbine and power plant design processes. Ultimately, this integration leads to better overall wind energy system designs with high performance and low costs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-82621


  • JSON
  • MDAO
  • ontology
  • Task 37
  • YAML


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