AWS Truepower has upgraded its Openwind wind project design and optimization software.
According to AWS, the upgrades enhance time-series energy production simulations – meaning that all losses are now modeled in a realistic way, including turbine downtime, wakes, electrical losses and environmental curtailment strategies.
For example, take the issue of curtailment. ‘Many wind projects today are obliged to operate within complicated noise, wildlife and other constraints that may depend on wind speed, direction, time of day or time of year,’ explains Nick Robinson, director of Openwind. ‘This latest version of Openwind makes it much easier to model the impacts of these strategies on energy production.’
The company says that combining this new detailed loss modeling with recently added features – such as time-queryable, multi-height wind resource grids and multi-height time-series files from towers, LIDAR or SODAR – makes it the first software to fully incorporate the spatial and time dimensions into the wind resource assessment process. It also allows users to access operational plant data to inform pre-construction energy estimates.
As part of the release, Openwind comes with a new icing loss model that can be customized by the user to account for temperature, precipitation and humidity. Plant and turbine availability is modeled realistically, as well, through a sophisticated Markov chain approach derived from actual plant data.
The software now also features improved tools for wind project optimization that create more realistic layouts with less user effort. The likely impact of wakes on effective turbulence intensity can be used to automatically size turbine separation distances. Openwind also includes improved tools for optimization of gridded layouts that help users optimize for either energy or cost of energy in areas with relatively flat terrain or that are offshore.
‘The process for producing gridded layouts for offshore development was previously pretty labor-intensive,’ according to Robinson. ‘In this version of Openwind, that whole process has been automated, which will save our users a lot of valuable time.’
Optimizing layouts under noise constraints is also improved with the ability to automatically optimize and schedule complex noise-reduction strategies.