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Wind Energy with Integrated Servo-control (WEIS): A Toolset to Enable Controls Co-Design of Floating Offshore Wind Energy Systems

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$3,268,854
Location: 
Golden, CO
Project Term: 
01/20/2020 to 01/19/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will develop a Wind Energy with Integrated Servo control (WEIS) model, a tool set that will enable CCD optimization of both conventional and innovative, cost-effective FOWTs. NREL's WEIS model will be entirely open-source and publicly accessible, bringing together many components and disciplines into a concurrent design environment. The new tool is based on previous well-known NREL computer simulations (OpenFAST and WISDEM) and improves their capabilities and mathematical models for aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, mechanical structures, electrical components, control systems, economic analysis, and CCD optimization. It will be flexible and modular so that users can incorporate their own design ideas, models, inputs, and load cases. The team's design will capture all of the critical nonlinear dynamics, system interactions, and life-cycle cost elements for a large range of FOWT archetypes and control actuators and sensors.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will develop a Wind Energy with Integrated Servo control (WEIS) model, a tool set that will enable CCD optimization of both conventional and innovative, cost-effective FOWTs. NREL's WEIS model will be entirely open-source and publicly accessible, bringing together many components and disciplines into a concurrent design environment. The new tool is based on previous well-known NREL computer simulations (OpenFAST and WISDEM) and improves their capabilities and mathematical models for aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, mechanical structures, electrical components, control systems, economic analysis, and CCD optimization. It will be flexible and modular so that users can incorporate their own design ideas, models, inputs, and load cases. The team's design will capture all of the critical nonlinear dynamics, system interactions, and life-cycle cost elements for a large range of FOWT archetypes and control actuators and sensors.
Potential Impact: 
ATLANTIS projects will aim to develop new and potentially disruptive innovations in FOWT technology to enable a greater market share of offshore wind energy, ultimately strengthening and diversifying the array of domestic energy sources available to Americans.
Security: 
Diverse, domestic energy resources can boost grid resiliency and reduce infrastructure vulnerabilities.
Environment: 
Increased availability of affordable, reliable wind energy could lessen reliance on fossil fuels, reducing power sector emissions.
Economy: 
Program developments in FOWTs could reduce the cost of wind energy production and provide an entirely new option for the offshore wind industry, as well as access to significant wind resources near major population centers on U.S. coastlines.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Mario Garcia-Sanz
Project Contact: 
Dr. Alan Wright
Partners
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Release Date: 
8/8/2019