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

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

22. Nov. 2013 | 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 2013 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 license 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 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."

Although they are rarely in the limelight, the influence of products like Bladed on the wind turbine industry is far reaching. The existence of these numerical tools has help to reduce the risk of entry to the turbine market for a wide range of manufacturers – removing critical barriers to market entry and innovation. It is no exaggeration to say that, behind the scenes, Bladed has been a factor in the emergence of a vibrant, competitive market in which dozens of manufacturers vie for business.

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. Modelling tools such as Bladed, the silent workhorses of the wind industry, will undoubtedly play a part.

As of 12 September 2013, DNV and GL have merged to DNV GL


Driven by its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organisations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. DNV GL provides classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas and energy industries. It also provides certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. DNV GL, whose origins go back to 1864, operates globally in more than 100 countries with its 17,000 professionals dedicated to helping their customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

In the Energy industry

DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables. Its expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. DNV GL’s 3000 energy experts support clients around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply.


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