This offshore wind farm faced several challenges when we came in. There was a geotechnical campaign approaching to gather soil data at the turbine positions. There were various turbine options under consideration. The site boundary was not fully pinpointed, as there were permitting discussions ongoing. The layout provided by the previous consultant was prepared based on engineering judgement with the aim to reduce wakes. And even then, it was far from optimal.
Our approach was to develop a model including all main cost drivers of the wind farm layout and calculate the optimal positioning for the wind turbines, taking everything into account simultaneously. The main cost drivers considered were wakes and foundation costs. Project boundary conditions required the turbines to be within a fixed distance from seismic lines to avoid a risk of shallow gas. But also turbulence and exclusion zones needed to be accounted for. We used our software tool, the Layout Doctor, which applies optimisation techniques implemented on GPUs and multicore CPUs to calculate optimal positions automatically. We provided a flexible, optimised layout with a significant reduction of wake effects and a reduction of the overall shallower water depth for two site boundary alternatives. It was ready before the geotechnical campaign.