SIMPACK AG offers general purpose three dimensional Multi-Body Simulation Software which is uniquely suited to the analysis and design of any type of wind turbine design. Built upon well-proven technology used in other application areas – such as the gear wheel element developed for the Formula 1 racing industry – the company delivers a pre-eminent insight into the dynamics of wind turbine systems. We spoke to Steven Mulski, Director Wind Energy Solutions.
PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Can you tell us a little about the history of your company and how it serves the wind industry?
Steven Mulski: The history of SIMPACK AG started in the late 1980s with a cooperation between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and MAN Technologies. At the time there was no suitable general non-linear Multi-Body Simulation (MBS) code on the market which could import flexible bodies from Finite Element (FE) codes, required for analysing higher frequency dynamics.
The DLR’s involvement with MBS codes goes back into the 1960s. MAN technologies was involved in many different industrial sectors, from railway and road vehicles to aerospace and wind turbines (Growian and Aeroman) applications, and recognized the need for a completely new type of simulation code, thus SIMPACK was born. INTEC GmbH, now called SIMPACK AG, was founded in 1993 to commercialize and further develop SIMPACK. Today SIMPACK AG is an international company with subsidiaries and distributors all over the world.
PES: Where is the Return On Investment in your software (and what might those returns typically be for a wind turbine manufacturer)?
SM: With SIMPACK, companies can vastly reduce the amount of time and money spent on prototyping, testing and future maintenance. Possible resonances, or even fundamental design flaws, which can result in large damaging forces, can be eliminated, or at least minimized, at an early stage in the design. As a result, future maintenance costs can be vastly reduced. Also completely new control strategies and turbine designs can be evaluated even before detailed part drawings exist.
PES: Forgive our naïveté, but surely the R&D departments of large turbine manufacturers already have their own simulation software. Where does SIMPACK fit in?
SM: In today’s global wind turbine market, fierce competition forces manufacturers to optimize designs in terms of weight and dynamic performance.