openWind is designed for diverse end users, from individuals to large consultants and developers. With an architecture patterned after geographical information systems (GIS), it is flexible, user-friendly and well adapted to today's complex wind farm design challenges. The application is also fully compatible with other leading brands, which will enable wind industry professionals and other interested parties to work efficiently and share information, according to the company.
‘Designed on an open source platform, openWind is not a black box – its calculations can be observed and vetted independently, and users can add or modify capabilities as needed,’ says Michael Brower, chief technical officer at AWS Truewind.
The openWind project is led by Nicholas Robinson, research scientist at AWS Truewind. He says that after years of frustration working with commercial wind farm design software, he wanted to build a program that was both fun to use and adaptable to a wide variety of circumstances.
‘No two projects are exactly alike, so the application needed to be open and configurable enough for myriad situations,’ says Robinson. ‘The vision was to give wind engineers a toolbox they could use and place as few restrictions as possible on what they could do with that toolbox. The ability to take whatever geographic information is available and integrate it into the site design was an absolute necessity.’
The application is built around standard GIS data types and employs a GIS-style interface to allow seamless integration of geographic and modeling data. It also supports wind resource grids, tabular wind data files and other industry-standard file formats.
openWind is being released initially as a freely downloadable, open-source software package. With this version, users are able to view and modify the code, subject to the limitations of the open-source license. A protected version of the software intended for users requiring greater security and guaranteed authenticity will be made available in 2009, along with a variety of proprietary modules with specialized or advanced features.
openWind 1.0 will be available Oct. 15 for download and use by visiting awsopenwind.org.
SOURCE: AWS Truewind LLC