The Wind-Plant Integrated System Design and Engineering Model (WISDEM®) is a set of models for assessing overall wind plant cost of energy (COE). The models use wind turbine and plant cost and energy production as well as financial models to estimate coe and other wind plant system attributes. It is built in OpenMDAO and uses several sub-models that are also designed as OpenMDAO plugin-ins. These sub-models can be used independently but they are required to use the overall WISDEM® capability. Please install all of the pre-requisites prior to installing WISDEM®. For additional information about the NWTC effort in systems engineering that supports WISDEM® development, please visit the official NREL systems engineering for wind energy website.

Author: NREL WISDEM Team


This software is a beta version 0.2.0.


See local documentation in the docs-directory or access the online version at http://wisdem.github.io/WISDEM/


WISDEM® is a family of modules. The core modules are:

  • CommonSE includes several libraries shared among modules
  • DriveSE sizes the drive-train system
  • FloatingSE works with the floating platforms
  • OffshoreBOS sizes the balance of systems for offshore plants
  • Plant_FinanceSE runs the financial analysis of a wind plant
  • RotorSE is a tool for rotor design
  • TowerSE is a tool for tower (and monopile) design
  • Turbine_CostsSE is a turbine cost model
  • NREL CSM is the old cost-and-scaling model
  • WISDEM provides the interface between models

The core modules draw upon some utility packages, which are typically compiled code with python wrappers:

  • Akima is a spline package
  • Airfoil Preppy is a tool to handle airfoil polar data
  • CCBlade is the BEM module of WISDEM
  • pBEAM provides a basic beam model
  • pyFrame3DD brings libraries to handle various coordinate transformations
  • pyMAP provides a python interface to MAP++, a quasi-static mooring line model
  • pyoptsparse provides some additional optimization algorithms to OpenMDAO

Installation (Anaconda)

Installation with Anaconda is the recommended approach because of the ability to create self-contained environments suitable for testing and analysis. WISDEM® requires Anaconda 64-bit.

The installation instructions below use the environment name, "wisdem-env," but any name is acceptable.

  1. Setup and activate the Anaconda environment from a prompt

    conda config --add channels conda-forge
    conda create -y --name wisdem-env python=3.7
    conda activate wisdem-env
  2. Install Anaconda package dependencies

    conda install -y numpy scipy matplotlib conda-build six numpydoc networkx pyparsing packaging snowballstemmer pandas openpyxl xlrd jinja2 git mpi4py imagesize idna docutils chardet babel alabaster sphinx sphinxcontrib ipython cython swig make sphinxcontrib-bibtex jsonschema ruamel.yaml compilers

    if sphinxcontrib-bibtex does not install correctly, it is not critical and you can press on.

    on Windows add on:

    conda install -y mingw m2w64-toolchain libpython

    on MacOS add on:

    xcode-select --install
  3. Next install OpenMDAO, the glue code and optimization library for WISDEM®

    pip install OpenMDAO==1.7.4
    pip install simpy
  4. Now create a directory to store all of the WISDEM® files. This directory may be placed anywhere in the user's filesystem.

    mkdir wisdem
    cd  wisdem
  5. Git clone all of the core WISDEM® modules

    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/akima.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/AirfoilPreppy.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/CCBlade.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/CommonSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/DriveSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/FloatingSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/OffshoreBOS.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/Plant_FinanceSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/RotorSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/TowerSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/Turbine_CostsSE.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/NREL_CSM.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/WISDEM.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/pBeam.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/pyFrame3DD.git
    git clone https://github.com/WISDEM/pyMAP.git
    git clone https://github.com/mdolab/pyoptsparse.git
  6. Now install all of the packages. The instructions here assume that the user will be interacting with the source code and incorporating code updates frequently, so the python packages are set-up for development (python setup.py develop), instead of hard installs (python setup.py install).

    cd akima
    python setup.py install 
    cd ../AirfoilPreppy
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../CCBlade
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../pBeam
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../pyFrame3DD
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../pyMAP
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../CommonSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../OffshoreBOS
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../Plant_FinanceSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../Turbine_CostsSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../NREL_CSM
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../TowerSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../RotorSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../WISDEM
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../DriveSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../FloatingSE
    python setup.py develop 
    cd ../pyoptsparse

    on Windows edit pyoptsparse\pyoptsparse\setup.py and comment out the line:

    #    config.add_subpackage('pyFSQP')

    for all OSes continue:

    python setup.py install

    cd ..

Installation (Linux or MacOS with package management)

WISDEM® can also be used with native or add-on package managers, instead of relying on the Anaconda system. WISDEM® installations have succeeded on Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, etc), MacOS with MacPorts or Homebrew, and Windows with Cygwin.

  1. Obtain the local version of Python3 and the packages listed in Anaconda Step 2 above. Each package manager will have a different name for these packages. If your package manager does not have a particular Python package, you can obtain it via pip install from the Python Package Index, PyPI.

  2. Continue with Anaconda Steps 3-6

Run Unit Tests

Each package has its own set of unit tests, some of which are more comprehensive than others.


For software issues please use https://github.com/WISDEM/WISDEM/issues. For functionality and theory related questions and comments please use the NWTC forum for Systems Engineering Software Questions.

Programming Language:     Technology:     Wind and Water Tools:

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If you want to refer to this website in a report, here is a reference you can use:
NWTC Information Portal (WISDEM™).  https://nwtc.nrel.gov/WISDEM. Last modified 05-January-2015 ; Accessed 24-August-2019