BLADED to HAWC2 model conversion

BLADED is a tool developed by DNV, and wetb contains a basic reader that can interpret a BLADED project file (.prj) and convert the data structures into an equivalent set of HAWC2 input files (htc, st, ae, pc).

API and workflow

Read BLADED project file

The input from a Bladed model is given in a project file (prj) and is formatted in the XML definition. Within this file the core BLADED inputs are given in the CDATA field and which according to the XML standards refer to Character Data, see also here and here for a more detailed technical description. Within the CDATA field a custom BLADED type markup definition is used. The wetb reader includes an interpreter for this custom BLADED markup and outputs this data structure to the user as a nested dictionary, and which allows easy access to all the different key/value pairs defined in the BLADED CDATA field. This nested dictionary structure is accessible via the variable

Outside the CDATA field the XML data is parsed via the lxml Python package, and the entire XML object lxml.objectify.fromstring(str) is exposed to the user via the wetb.bladed.readprj.ReadBladedProject.xmlroot variable.

In ``wetb` the project file can be read using the following:

from wetb.bladed.readprj import ReadBladedProject
prj = ReadBladedProject('my_bladed_project_file.prj')
# XML object tree (and lxml data object)
# CDATA field as nested dictionary

A convenience function wetb.bladed.readprj.ReadBladedProject.get_key is also available to extract a numpy array, for example as follows:

from wetb.bladed.readprj import ReadBladedProject
prj = ReadBladedProject('my_bladed_project_file.prj')
# the following keys contain a data array
data_arr = prj.get_key('BSTIFFMB', 'EIFLAP')
# which is the similar calling (but excludes data conversion to int/float)['BSTIFFMB']['EIFLAP']
# if a key contains a section with sub-keys, a dictionary is returned:
data_dict = prj.get_key('BSTIFFMB')
# and is similar to['BSTIFFMB']

Convert BLADED project file to HAWC2

The class wetb.bladed.prj2hawc.Convert2Hawc will convert a Bladed project file into a set of HAWC2 input files. This process assumes that a standard 3 bladed upwind turbine configuration is used, and a generic HAWC2 htc template file serves as the starting point for the conversion process. Note that the converter class wetb.bladed.prj2hawc.Convert2Hawc inherits from wetb.bladed.readprj.ReadBladedProject, and hence will first read the Bladed project file:

import os
import urllib.request
import shutil
from wetb.bladed.prj2hawc import Convert2Hawc
# download the htc template file,
url = ''
url += 'raw/master/wetb/bladed/'
fname_tmpl = '/path/to/my/'
with urllib.request.urlopen(url) as response, open(fname_tmpl, 'wb') as fout:
    shutil.copyfileobj(response, fout)
# file name of the Bladed project file
fprj = '/path/to/my/bladed.prj'
# initiate the project converter object, will first read the prj file (see above)
prj = Convert2Hawc(fprj)
# convert to the HAWC2 formats: htc, ae, pc and st files
fname_htc = fname_tmpl.replace('', '')
# note that the ae, pc and st files will be saved in the same directory as
# fname_htc, with .htc replaced by .ae, .pc, .st etc.

Theoretical background

Coordinate systems

The coordinate systems used in both codes are different. Note that in HAWC2 coordinate systems of general bodies are defined by the users. However, the HAWC2 global and blade cross-section coordinate systems are predetermined, and they differ from Bladed in the following manner:

  • Global Bladed X axis is positive pointing downwind whereas in HAWC2 the global Y direction is positive in the downwind direction.

  • The HAWC2 global Z direction is in the same direction as the gravity vector (positive down), while it is the opposite in Bladed (positive up).

  • The Bladed cross-section coordinate system is rotated 90 degrees around Z wrt HAWC2.

The figures below illustrate clearly the HAWC2 and Bladed coordinate systems.

Bladed coordinate systems


Bladed coordinate system, rotor rotation and radius definition.


Bladed cross-section structural centers, half chord location and structural pitch definition.


Bladed airfoil geometric positioning along the blade.

HAWC2 coordinate systems


HAWC2 global, tower, shaft, hub, blade-i and meteorological coordinate systems.


HAWC2 cross-section structural centers, half chord location and structural pitch definition.


HAWC2 airfoil positioning in blade body coordinates and aerodynamic pitch given as in the htc file c2_def section.

Cross-sectional parameters

Bladed uses isotropic material definitions for all bodies and for the HAWC2 conversion the same isotropic assumption is used. Since the HAWC2 st file definition splits the Young’s (E) and shear modulus (G) from the actual stiffness terms, and Bladed defines the actual stiffness values (meaning the product of EI etc), the corresponding HAWC2 st input simply assumes a value for E and G, and specifies the inertia such that the product (i.e. stiffness) is correct.

Bladed defines a mass polar moment of inertia in combination with the ratio between the mass radii of gyration around the airfoil’s center of mass, while in HAWC2 the radii of gyration in X and Y direction are given wrt the elastic center.


[1] HAWC2 User Manual v12.8

[2] Bladed 4.6 Manual