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New software simulator increases wind efficiency

Wind energy is giving fossil fuels a run for their money.  Close to achieving cost parity with oil and other fuels, the industry is on course to achieve the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of 20 percent of national energy coming from wind by 2030.

 

To make the industry more efficient, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has developed a software tool called the Simulator for Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA).  The software can calculate how variables alter airflow and energy production.  This means that SOWFA can adjust for variables such as surface temperature, uneven ground or multiple spinning blades.

 

By simulating everything from regional weather patterns to literally the space between turbines, SOWFA allows developers to improve the performance of their wind farms.  Adjustments can be made to allow for seasonal wind patterns.  An added bonus is that it is a community software platform, meaning that it is free to access, giving users the ability to discuss problems and solutions in online forums.

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