For the first time a computer program for wind turbine design has been rubber stamped with a formal statement of validation from a classification company. Germanischer Lloyd's validation of "Bladed," a wind turbine design code developed over a number of years by British consultants Garrad Hassan, means turbine manufacturers can short-cut part of the turbine certification process. Those who use Bladed to calculate machine performance and loads in the structure should sail through a design review by Germanischer Lloyd (GL), provided the input data are sound and other steps in the process are properly followed.
Certification has played a vital role in shaping the technical integrity of the wind industry despite the claim that it "helps development but constrains design." The validation statement for Bladed confirms that its calculated loads have been compared with those calculated by GL and show good agreement. The certificate states: "It can be considered a suitable program for the calculation of wind turbine loads for design and certification."
The code's capabilities include: performance prediction, blade and tower calculations; electrical network modelling with prediction of voltage fluctuations and flicker caused by wind turbines; real time testing of control systems; and calculation of wave loadings of offshore turbines using an additional module to be issued shortly.