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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Oct 2020

21 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Wind farm layout optimization using pseudo-gradients

Erik Quaeghebeur1, René Bos2, and Michiel B. Zaaijer3 Erik Quaeghebeur et al.
  • 1Uncertainty in AI Group, Eindhoven University of Technology, De Groene Loper 5, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • 2Eneco, Marten Meesweg 5, 3068 AV Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 3Wind Energy Section, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract. This paper presents a heuristic building block for wind farm layout optimization algorithms. For each pair of wake-interacting turbines, a vector is defined. Its magnitude is proportional to the wind speed deficit of the waked turbine due to the waking turbine. Its direction is chosen from the inter-turbine, downwind, or crosswind directions. These vectors can be combined for all waking or waked turbines and averaged over the wind resource to obtain a vector, a pseudo-gradient, that can take the role of gradient in classical gradient-following optimization algorithms. A proof-of-concept optimization algorithm demonstrates how such vectors can be used for computationally efficient wind farm layout optimization. Results for various sites, both idealized and realistic, illustrate the types of layout generated by the proof-of-concept algorithm. These results provide a basis for a discussion of the heuristic's strong points–speed, competitive reduction in wake losses, flexibility – and weak points – partial blindness to the objective and dependence on the starting layout. The computational speed of pseudo-gradient-based optimization is an enabler for analyses that would otherwise be computationally impractical. Pseudo-gradient-based optimization has already been used by industry in the design of large-scale (offshore) wind farms.

Erik Quaeghebeur et al.

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Erik Quaeghebeur et al.

Model code and software

equaeghe/wflopg: Initial release Erik Quaeghebeur

Erik Quaeghebeur et al.


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Latest update: 01 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present a technique to support the optimal layout (placement) of wind turbines in a wind farm. It efficiently determines good directions and distances for moving turbines. An improved layout reduces production losses and so makes the farm project economically more attractive. Compared to most existing techniques, our approach requires less time. This allows wind farm designers to explore more alternatives and provides the flexibility to adapt the layout to site-specific requirements.
We present a technique to support the optimal layout (placement) of wind turbines in a wind...