FOCUS6 is the integrated modular tool to design wind turbines and wind turbine components like rotor blades. For more than a decade, FOCUS6 is being used by the international wind turbine industry.

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FOCUS6: The integrated Modular Wind Turbine Design Tool

The FOCUS6 application

There are numerous separate software tools available to design wind turbines. The integrated modular tool FOCUS6 integrates various tools into one consistent user interface and provides consistent data. Without the need of manually converting data between tools during the design process, a shorter turnaround time can be achieved while reducing the risk of errors and inconsistent data. FOCUS6 uses a database, allowing concurrent design by multiple designers and tracking of design changes.

The FOCUS6 flow diagram

Main features of FOCUS6

Structural blade design

FOCUS6 has a unique tool to interactively model rotor blades in detail. While defining the blade step-by-step, the interactive 3D visualization gives direct feedback of the design changes. Material properties, layer thicknesses and sequences can be displayed. This makes blade modeling in FOCUS6 user-friendly, with less risk of errors in user input. Material properties, layer thicknesses and sequences can be displayed. The user friendly interface is aimed to avoid input errors. Layers are defined in the model similar to blade manufacturing. Beginning with the layers at the outer surface of the blade, sequential layers are stacked in inwards direction.

FOCUS6 Blade Modeller

Once the blade model is defined, other modules such as the turbine simulation models can retrieve the cross sectional properties at any radial position. Blade data such as usage per material can be viewed and exported both graphically and numerically.

The blade model can be exported to a thick shell element mesh for analysis with finite element solvers. The shell elements include full layup data.

An advanced beam model approach is used for the following structural analysis:

Interactive Post-Processing

All results can be presented both in tabular and graphical form.

Aeroelasticity I, Rotor pre-design

For the aeroelastic pre-design of rotor blades a dedicated module is available. With this module the aeroelastic performance of rotor blades can be determined without the need of a full turbine model or a detailed blade design. This module can compute the eigenmodes, frequencies and aeroelastic damping of the rotor blades. The theoretical basis is the beam bending theory, in which torsional deformation and transverse shear flexibility as well as many aerodynamic and structural dynamic coupling terms for bending and torsion dynamics are included.

Input forms with context help

Aeroelasticity II, Wind Turbine design

The module Aeroelasticity II, developed by ECN, calculates the combined aerodynamic and structural dynamic behaviour of a wind turbine in time domain. The build-in tower model gives a detailed and well-validated dynamic response of the tower including all mutual interactions with the turbine model up to the aerodynamics of the rotor. Alternatively, an external tower model can be linked using the Craig-Bampton method.

The rotor aerodynamics are solved on basis of the engineering BEM theory of which the sub-models for tip-loss, tangential induction, blade-tower interaction, oblique inflow effects, rotational effects) are combined on a physical basis.

2D graphs of time series

A built-in PD controller is provided that includes rotor speed filtering and peak-shaving strategy. In addition, dedicated controllers can be linked.

A tool is provided that generates the input for load cases that are required for IEC or GL load set calculations. For this purpose models are available to simulate faulted conditions and emergency situations. The results are accepted for certification by GL and DNV.

In order to reduce the total turnaround time of load set calculations, loadcases can be calculated in parallel on computers with multi-core processors.

Using the job management system, loadcases can be calculated in parallel on multiple computers.


The Offshore module provides an interactive 3D modeler to design support structures. The modeler supports monopiles, jacket and lattice tower-like structures.

The members of the support structure can be filled with water. Marine growth and grouted members are supported.

In addition, the offshore load case preprocessor generates automatically combined wave and wind load sets, complient with current standards such as IEC 61400-3.

The Offshore module is used in combination with the Aeroelasticity II module.

FOCUS FEM for blade design

For certification of a blade it is necessary to perform static analysis on the blade using Puck failure criteria. For this purpose the FOCUS FEM module is available. FOCUS FEM provides a composite thick shell finite element that supports tapered layers. The FOCUS FEM module provides the following functionalities:

  • Static structural analysis
  • Includes Puck criterion
  • Composite thick shell elements
  • Full layup (individual plies)
  • RBE3 elements for load introduction

    FEM Mesh Export for Blade Design

    With the FEM Mesh Export module, the blade model created in the Structural Blade Design module can be converted automatically into a finite element mesh. The finite element mesh can be exported to general purpose FEM software like Abaqus, Ansys, MSC.Nastran and MSC.Marc. The finite element mesh is thick shell element. based and contains the full layup information. Both linear and parabolic elements are supported.

    Extreme Extrapolation

    The Extreme Extrapolation module performs the 50-year load extrapolation as required by IEC 61400-1 Ed. 3 and IEC 61400-3 Ed. 1. Two methods to determine extremes are available: Peak over thresholt (POT) and the Block method. For fitting extremes different methods are available:

  • Generalized Pareto distribution function (Pareto), with these fitting methods:
  • Generalized Extreme Value distribution function (GEV), with these fitting methods: The Extreme Extrapolation module is used in combination with the Aeroelasticity II module.

    FOCUS6 program options:

    Recommended computer system

    Processor Pentium IV 3 GHz, Pentium Dual Core 2.2 GHz
    Memory 2048 MB
    Hard disk 200 GB - 7200 rpm
    Graphics card 128 MB with OpenGL 3D support
    Operating system Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012
    Database PostgreSQL 8.3 or 9
    For a multi-user environment it is recommended to install the database on a separated server (Windows or Linux).

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