Multiscale and Multiphysical Models and Simulation for Wind Energy

Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Total funding:  EUR 333,184.49
Partners: Fraunhofer IWES, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Term: 07/2022 – 06/2026


  • Simulations are playing an ever greater role in the design and operation of wind turbines.
  • The simulation of complex flow systems as encountered at wind turbines is associated with high and expensive computing efforts.
  • In the MOUSE research project, the scientists are investigating new mathematical methods for use in wind energy.
  • The goal is to calculate multiscale flow simulations with higher accuracy in a shorter period of time.

The challenge
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a crucial tool for being able to design and operate larger and larger wind turbines. Until now, however, this type of high-resolution flow calculations has only ever been possible for individual cases or has only been performed on subcomponents such as airfoil profiles. At the same time, wind conditions at wind turbines are a prime example of a problem on many different scales – they range from mesoscale weather systems up to turbulence at the individual turbine. However, CFD is still associated with high computing efforts, making it both time-consuming and expensive.

The solution

In the MOUSE research project, the scientists are investigating new mathematical methods of flow simulation for their functionality and suitability for use in wind energy. The goal is to permit better merging of the different scales with the same or even higher precision in a shorter computing period. Machine learning methods are also utilized.

In a subproject, Fraunhofer IWES is testing the new approaches for their practical suitability for the wind energy industry. The results of the research project should speed up the technical development of wind turbines. One possible application would be improved digital monitoring of turbines in real time during operation.

The added value

The more accurately the effects of wind flows at and around wind turbines can be simulated, the better manufacturers can adapt the design of the machines to the prevailing conditions. This avoids high risk premiums in the design. Operators benefit from this, as they can run the wind farm in real time according to the loads, thus protecting the materials and optimizing the energy yield. The result is lower energy production costs for offshore wind electricity.