Wind sim suite

Wind Sim Suite installation

This page describes how to install the Python package for wind turbine simulations and post-processing of results. The simulation part consists only in a Python package based on MBDyn sim suite, without any extra dependencies. So once you get that part working, you can simulate wind turbines. However it will be difficult for you to see results, you will have to write your own scripts. The post processing application assits this step but requires graphical libraries. That's why the prerequisites are the most demanding part, however once installed they will almost do all the work.


Fisrt you need to have a working OpenGL installation with your X windows system. For example try to run the program: # glxgears

If you see some animation you are ready to start, else you need to get a working GLX. The VTK library is based on that service, usually supplied by your system distribution, but you may encounter driver issues.
You can then install the following softwares:
  • MBDyn sim suite, the MBDyn service for Python
  • GTK, the library used for the graphical user interface
  • Libglade, the library allowing to use Glade files in the program
  • pyGTK, for using GTK from Python
  • VTK, the library for 3D rendering installed with Python bindings
  • GtkGLExt, allows to use a VTK area inside GTK, need to be installed with Python bindings
  • Matplotlib, for plotting the results, need the GTKAgg backend
As a simple indication, the versions used during the development were MBDyn sim suite 0.2, GTK 2.10.13, Libglade 2.6.1, pyGTK 2.10.4, VTK 5.0.3, GtkGLExt 1.2.0 (pyGtkGLExt 1.1.0) and Matplotlib 0.90.1. Hopefully most of them will be supplied with your system distribution, even if you may encounter problems with VTK and GtkGLExt. Especially VTK asks work to be installed from sources. Notes are in progress for some specific installations.

Extracting the source

Place the archive downloaded in the previous step, in the directory of your choice. Extract the source and open a terminal in the top directory containing the file ''.

Build and install

The package building will be achieved by: # python build

If everything goes well, else contact the developers, you can continue by the installation: # sudo python install

It will install the package to the Python standard location. Omit the 'sudo' command if it is not used on your system but execute the line with administrator rights. You can specify another location by the "--prefix" option, but be sure to then update your 'PYTHONPATH'. Moreover the script 'windsimsuite' in the 'bin' directory is supposed to be installed in the corresponding 'bin' directory of your prefix. You may also need to update your 'PATH' variable or copy the executable script to a place that suits you.

Running the application

The best way to test if the application is correctly installed: # windsimsuite

You can then load some examples files from the interface. Most of the items contained in the tree are supposed to offer a menu by a right-click. In the 3D area managed by VTK:
  • press "r" to get the view
  • press "0" to enter in the rotation mode
  • left mouse button to rotate
  • middle (or right and left buttons) to move
  • right mouse button to zoom
Examples for running simulations are available in the 'nrel' and 'tjaerborg' directories, but they are still under heavy development. Do not hesitate to also have a look at the current documentation.
Documentation under Creative Commons - Attribution / Share Alike license.