NREL Certifies FAST/ADAMS Wind Turbine Design Codes

August 15, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

The US Department of Energy's (DOE, Washington, DC) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced that its wind turbine design codes -- termed FAST and ADAMS -- can now be used for worldwide turbine certification. Through a joint effort by the NREL and wind turbine certifying body Germanischer Lloyd (Hamburg, Germany), both codes were approved for calculating onshore wind turbine loads for design and certification.

Many US wind turbine manufacturers rely on the design codes to estimate the design loads of their turbines. Until recently, the codes were not accepted by certifying agencies in Europe. The FAST code (for fatigue, aerodynamics, structures, and turbulence) is a comprehensive aeroelastic simulator capable of predicting both the extreme and fatigue loads of two-bladed and three-bladed, horizontal-axis wind turbines. The ADAMS code (for automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems) is a general-purpose, multibody-dynamics code that is used to model robots, satellites, and cars.

Germanischer Lloyd granted NREL a certificate for FAST and ADAMS stating that the codes can be considered suitable programs for the calculation of onshore wind turbine loads for design and certification. More information on the FAST and ADAMS design codes can be found at designcodes.