More than 6 years have passed since the last release of QBlade (v0.96b). In these 6 years we have been working extensively on the integration and validation of several key features which were neccessary to bring the code-base to a level that allows for the efficient aero-elastic simulation of wind turbines in real world industrial-level scenarios.
Why did we not update the code in between 2016 and now? Well, the pure integration of new models (such as structural dynamics, or servo-dynamics) per se is not the most time consuming task – however, making such models robust, universally valid for different scenarios and numerically efficient is what takes a very long time. On top of that the integration of functionality into a unified user-interface and functionality testing, crash handling etc. takes even more time than the integration of the models themselves.
In 2019 we had the structural model up- and running and were planning to release an updated aero-elastic version of QBlade – in the end what interferred with our plan was we got a European H2020 research proposal granted for the FLOATECH project. For this project we proposed to integrate functionality to model floating offshore wind turbines, which opened up Pandoras box of hydrodynamics for our team. So, instead of focussing on the release we went back into “development mode” and put those plans on hold.
Fast foward to 2022, we have now finished the integration, validation and testing of the new offshore capabilities and were finally ready for the release! Next to the new functionality QBlade is now also released under a new license, instead of a single GPL licensed version we are now releasing two different version of the code: QBlade-CE for non-commercial application under the Academic Public License and QBlade-EE for commercial users, with added functionality and optimized performance. We believe that the combination of non-commercial open source and commercial licensing will be beneficial for the whole user community, as income from commercial licenses will enable sustained development and a higher level of software quality, while further enjoying the informal, open communication and collaboration channels of open source development.
We are very thrilled to present to you the completely overhauled QBlade 2.0, and our brand new website, which now includes our own forum for all discussion related to QBlade, so feel free to say hello in the forum – we are excited how you are going to use this new version of QBlade and what design you will come up with in the future!
This post would not be complete without an updated feature list of QBlade 2.0, so here we go:
- Airfoil generation and modification
- Polar generation and extrapolation
- Rotor design (HAWT and VAWT) including active elements (such as flaps) and damaged blade stations
- Propeller design
- Steady state BEM analysis, fully parallelized parametric BEM
- Structural turbine definition powered by Project Chrono
- Cable elements to model blade cables, guy wires or mooring lines.
- Custom substructure definition (monopile, jacket, floaters)
- Seamless integration of NREL’s TurbSim for turbulent windfield generation
- Linear wave generator (regular, irregular, custom and pre-defined spectra
- Controller Integration (Bladed style, DTU style, TUB style)
- Aero-servo-hydro-elastic wind turbine simulations
- Streamlined ASCII based import / export functionality for all objects in QBlade
- IEC compliant DLC pre-processor
- Multi turbine simulation
- Multi rotor turbine definition
- Full parallelization of aero-hydro-elastic simulations
- Command line interface
- Software in loop interface
- Modal analysis capabilities