The purpose of IEA Wind TCP Task 37 is to coordinate international research activities to analyze wind power plants as holistic systems. To fully assess how a change or uncertainty in a design parameter affects the myriad of objectives in system performance and cost, a holistic and integrated approach is needed. Integrated systems research, design and development (R,D&D) can provide opportunities to improve overall system performance and reduce the levelized cost of energy.
However, there are significant challenges to developing such integrated approaches, both within and across organizations. There is a need to explore both the opportunities and the challenges for applying systems engineering to integrated wind energy RD&D across the entire wind energy system. This need surfaces both in the tools and methods used in wind plant RD&D.
The experience of the NREL 5 MW Reference Turbine, as well as previous IEA Tasks such as OC3 and OC4, shows that effective coordination can be achieved by providing frameworks such as reference designs and reference cases for analysis. Task 37 goes one step further. In addition to providing a forum for reference system (wind turbines and plants) development and benchmarking activities (in multi-disciplinary design analysis and optimization (MDAO), the Task provides framework guidelines that enable more seamless integration of analysis tools and reference models between organizations.