FAQ

Why did you get into the business of wind farm layout optimisation?

There was a gap in the market: No one seemed able to perform integrated wind farm layout optimisation and we saw opportunities to do it in an automated way.

Who are your typical clients?

Usually the wind turbine package manager or the engineering manager of a wind farm project developer, although we have performed projects for contractors as well.

How do I know whether my current wind farm layout is optimal?

If you supply us with a limited amount of data, we can use our software to check the potential for optimisation. We will do this free of charge. Please contact us to discuss how to start this.

Can you guarantee us cost savings?

So far we have achieved multi million Euro cost savings on each project. But of course, you could be the exception with a “perfect layout” already. Hence, we prefer to start with an assessment to check the optimisation potential, free of charge.

How much time will a wind farm optimisation typically take?

It depends on the complexity, the number of cost drivers to consider, and the number of scenarios (e.g. turbine models under consideration). On average it will take about 6 weeks (a few weeks to collect, assess, and discuss the boundary conditions, a few weeks to set-up the models and a few weeks to produce the results). The scope is not comparable to “old-fashioned wind farm layout design” where a person clicks a layout within a day. But it is worth the wait.

Do you also perform wind climate assessments and yield analyses?

Although we calculate yield and wake as part of the wake cost model and we see minimal differences with other commercial software, the models we have designed are only intended to balance these costs with other cost drivers. We always recommend the yield for the wind farm business case is determined by a different party which considers several wake models and all uncertainties associated with a proper energy yield analysis. We also leave wind climate analysis to other parties since there are many suppliers able to perform this independently.

What are the most important cost drivers for a wind farm layout?

Wakes are most critical. Water depth costs can play a role in places with larger depth variations. Where it gets particularly interesting is in areas with larger mobile sand waves. Here, the sand waves can cause local costs that can even be in a similar order of magnitude as the cost impact of wakes. We are able to include any spatially varying cost drivers, e.g. costs related to the soil conditions – as long as we can define a cost function.

Is your wind farm optimisation based on finding best positions on a grid?

No, the layout is optimized in the continuous space. The layout would be significantly less optimal when restricted to a predefined grid. What we can do is optimise and stay within a certain distance from seismic lines. But the more restrictions, the lower the optimisation potential.

Can you consider neighbouring wind farms?

Yes, we can. However, in our experience, this usually has a lower impact than the positioning of the wind turbines inside the wind farm. The algorithm we use accounts for the full site area, and internal wakes will typically outweigh external wakes.

Do you also perform cable route optimisation?

We don’t in flat sites it is relatively simple (simply optimising length) and there are plenty of other parties capable of doing that. However, we do in complex areas such as areas with large sand waves. There by considering numerous cost drivers we find the optimal paths around the sand waves.

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