24 Oct 2022
 | 24 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Offshore wind farm optimisation: a comparison of performance between regular and irregular wind turbine layouts

Maaike Sickler, Bart Ummels, Michiel Zaaijer, Roland Schmehl, and Katherine Dykes

Abstract. Layout optimisation is essential for improving the overall performance of offshore wind farms. During the past 15 years, the use of yield optimisation algorithms has resulted in a transition from regular to more irregular farm layouts. However, since the layout affects many factors, yield optimisation alone may not maximise the overall performance. In this paper, a comparative case study is presented to quantify the effect of the wind farm layout on the overall performance of offshore wind farms. The case study was performed to investigate two performance indicators: power performance, using yield calculations with WindPRO and wake-induced tower fatigue, using the Frandsen model. It is observed that irregular wind farm layouts have a higher annual energy production compared to regular layouts. Their power production is also more persistent (less sensitive) to wind direction, improving predictability and thus market value of power output. However, one turbine location in the irregular layout has a 24 % higher effective turbulence level, leading to additional tower fatigue. As a result, fatigue-driven tower designs would require increased wall thicknesses, which would result in higher capital costs for all turbine locations. It is demonstrated in this study that layout optimisation using a minimum inter-turbine spacing effectively resolves the induced wake issue while maintaining high-yield performance.

Maaike Sickler et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2022-97', Andrew P.J. Stanley, 05 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2022-97', Christopher Bay, 16 Mar 2023

Maaike Sickler et al.

Maaike Sickler et al.


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Short summary
The paper investigates the effect of wind farm layout on the performance of offshore wind farms. A regular farm layout is compared to optimized irregular layouts. The irregular layouts have a higher annual energy production and the power production is less sensitive to wind direction. However, turbine towers require thicker walls to counteract increased fatigue due to increased turbulence levels in the farm. The study shows that layout optimisation can be used to maintain high-yield performance.