Renewable energy encompasses an incredibly diverse array of innovative technologies used in power generation. From traditional and new resources - such as biomass, water, wind, solar, fuel cells, tidal and wave, and hydropower - renewable energy is playing an ever-increasing role in the global share of electricity generation, as both energy producers and consumers seek to increase deployment of renewable energy.

ANSYS enables engineering and research organizations develop new renewable energy equipment and improve the reliability and performance of existing systems. From testing for the electrochemical performance of a fuel cell stack to optimizing the design of biomass reactors and photovoltaic collectors, ANSYS solutions help speed the development process and bring renewable technologies rapidly to market. By minimizing the time, money and other resources invested in physical prototypes and testing, software from ANSYS helps improve the reliability of renewable energy systems and reduce the unit cost of energy generated from various technologies.


Engineering simulation for wind energy solution from ANSYS provides an integrated environment designed to solve the fundamental mathematical equations related to structural mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermal science, vibration analysis, electromagnetic studies and acoustics science. The technology also analyzes the interdependency of underlying physics in multiphysics simulations and system design, including embedded software for control systems that are critical for wind energy.

View: Engineering the System - Turning Wind into Energy Video

ANSYS solutions include CFD for wind energy, structural mechanics software for wind energy and wind energy system design software which are used to develop ongoing technology innovations across the wind energy supply chain in both small and large wind projects. The software enables you develop, manufacture, transport, install and control wind turbines to reduce cost, and improve wind turbine reliability and operating efficiency. ANSYS customers use these solutions for a full range of applications, including aerodynamic design, structural design, component design, site selection and farm layout, turbine placement, electromechanical systems, manufacturing processes and embedded software.

Offshore turbine blade deformation
Courtesy REpower.

Solar energy engineers are working to leverage the full power of sunlight by developing new processes to produce more reliable and cost-effective solar panels that can withstand variations in supporting temperature, wind forces, hail and other airborne debris impacts. They are increasingly using solar panel applications for rooftop installations, large-scale concentrated solar power (CSP) plants and even to power mobile devices.

ANSYS engineering simulation for solar energy solutions are used throughout the solar energy industry to simulate material processing, manufacturing, panel and component installation across various solar energy technologies, including Si-based systems, CdTe thin films, CIG systems, ribbons, glass substrate deposition technologies and edge-defined growth (EDG) solar cells.

CFD for solar energy, structural mechanics software and solar energy system design software are part of ANSYS engineering simulation for solar energy that supports solar engineers as they seek to reduce manufacturing costs, improve stability and storage capacities, and take energy efficiency to new limits.

Resultant wind forces on solar panels

Hydropower energy organizations have used the ANSYS computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools developed specifically for rotating systems, as well as for structural mechanics, electromagnetic solutions and system design, including instrumentation and control. Such simulations help optimize power generation capabilities and day-to-day performance of hydropower plants by analyzing their operations in a virtual environment. The process leads to rapid, cost-effective improvements.

Applied to individual turbines and intake valves as well as entire plants, spillways and dam design, ANSYS solutions bring a full range of physics to bear in modeling the complex workings of hydropower facilities. Powerful engineering simulation tools from ANSYS support engineers as they design new facilities, upgrade or refurbish existing plants, and perform general service and maintenance work.

Sample CFD results, hydraulic turbine

With ANSYS simulation tools, you can model and predict the electrical, thermal and fluid performance of a single full cell membrane or the entire stack and the system. Powerful computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools from ANSYS help you streamline both cell- and stack-level testing, using numerical modeling to arrive at optimized fuel cell designs with superior power generation rates, reliability and durability. Simulation tools from ANSYS engineering simulation for fuel cells design also help with assessment and the role of thermal, structural, and electromechanical stresses on cell and stack performance.

Engineers use electronic and fuel cell system design modeling solutions to design electrical circuits, related electronic control systems and perform system-level modeling of the full cell.

Built for power, speed and accuracy, simulation tools from ANSYS help fuel cell designers and engineers to model and improve performance including: Electrochemistry, Liquid water management, Liquid water flow in channels, Membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and Potential fields.

Current density in fuel cell stack

ANSYS solutions are helping engineers develop innovative technologies that improve both the energy production and pollution reduction of novel bio-power resources. ANSYS engineering simulation for biofuel & biomass suite of software provide a full range of multiphysics capabilities — including fluid mechanics, structural analysis, thermal, combustion and chemical reaction modeling, processing equipment design, and the analysis of sophisticated electronic control and power systems.

In the biofuels segment, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools from ANSYS are enabling engineers to develop new processes and equipment to convert sugar, starch or cellulose biomaterial into fuels as well as to perform large-scale systems analyses or improve performance of individual components.

In the biomass industry sector, ANSYS solutions are helping optimize conventional combustion of biomass waste streams, gasification and energy production from crops specifically grown for use as energy. In time, as engineers create ongoing innovations, biomass is expected to become much more cost-effective, increasing its role in the renewable energy mix. Biofuel & biomass systems design also take advantage of ANSYS control and system design capabilities improving the performance of many biomass processes and components.

Biomass co-fired furnace
Courtesy RMT - SmartBurn®.