WindSim wind flow modelling software increases energy production on wind farms. “We make wind energy more profitable. If you have the terrain, we have the most accurate wind information possible. Wind farms can get the most from their resources and increase their bankability,” says Arne Gravdahl, founder and CTO of WindSim.
Wind power faces some financial challenges despite its rapid growth. Wind farms must still compete with fossil fuel energy sources on a cost basis. In addition, onshore wind must compete with alternative uses for land, which might be more highly valued than electricity generation.
“Wind farm developers ask themselves: ‘Are our wind flow estimates accurate?’, ‘How can we attract investors?’ and ‘How can we ensure our installation will generate revenue?” says Gravdahl.
WindSim addresses these pressing concerns.
WindSim provides wind flow modelling software for onshore wind farm management. This includes screening of potential sites, turbine location planning for identified sites, and efficient operations and forecasting for existing sites.
The solution is based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which offers superior accuracy.
“We are experts in CFD, which allows us to model wind conditions in all climates at all sites, no matter how complex,” says Gravdahl.
“For example, we help developers to position each turbine within each wind farm. This is most difficult for land-based installations on variable terrain. Sometimes you can double energy production by moving a turbine just a few metres. This is the kind of sensitivity our software has,” he explains.
In early 2022, WindSim software will start migrating to a cloud-based solution, replacing the current desktop version. The new version will run project comparisons up to 100 times faster in the cloud than on a local desktop.
WindSim offers training and consultancy as well, helping customers to exploit the full potential of the software.
WindSim works with developers, operators and equipment manufacturers around the world.
WindSim’s accurate modelling ensures that wind farms are planned and operated optimally. The result is higher annual energy production (AEP), lower operating and capital expenditures, and better return on investment.
“The business case needs to be so good that you can ensure the funding, and this is related to accuracy,” says Gravdahl.
“Higher revenues and lower investment risk help to make wind farms more attractive. Ultimately, we expect to see an acceleration in wind farm construction fuelling the renewables revolution,” adds CCO Lill Kleven.
Moreover, WindSim has built up a large community of expert users, thanks to the company’s longevity and leading market position. “Over the years we have been able to continually improve our software based on customer feedback,” says Gravdahl.
In 2020, wind power increased by 12 per cent and is on track to set new records in 2021 and beyond.
Founded in 2003, WindSim is already well established in this growing market, with customers in more than 50 countries, including China. Still, Gravdahl sees opportunities for expansion:
“Many wind farms in Europe are coming up for recommissioning, and we have seen significant growth in the US, which is expected to increase even more since the US Congress approved the massive infrastructure bill. While our focus will remain on onshore wind, we also expect to expand into offshore wind power,” he says.
“Our mission is to combat global warming by reducing CO₂ emissions. I love nature, and I’m a green guy. I’m pleased we are helping to change the energy landscape from black to green,” Gravdahl concludes.