Solving the wind farm layout optimization problem using random search algorithm

Ju Feng, Wen Zhong Shen

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    Wind farm (WF) layout optimization is to find the optimal positions of wind turbines (WTs) inside a WF, so as to maximize and/or minimize a single objective or multiple objectives, while satisfying certain constraints. In this work, a random search (RS) algorithm based on continuous formulation is presented, which starts from an initial feasible layout and then improves the layout iteratively in the feasible solution space. It was first proposed in our previous study and improved in this study by adding some adaptive mechanisms. It can serve both as a refinement tool to improve an initial design by expert guesses or other optimization methods, and as an optimization tool to find the optimal layout of WF with a certain number of WTs. A new strategy to evaluate layouts is also used, which can largely save the computation cost. This method is first applied to a widely studied ideal test problem, in which better results than the genetic algorithm (GA) and the old version of the RS algorithm are obtained. Second it is applied to the Horns Rev 1 WF, and the optimized layouts obtain a higher power production than its original layout, both for the real scenario and for two constructed scenarios. In this application, it is also found that in order to get consistent and reliable optimization results, up to 360 or more sectors for wind direction have to be used. Finally, considering the inevitable inter-annual variations in the wind conditions, the robustness of the optimized layouts against wind condition changes is analyzed, and the optimized layouts consistently show better performance in power production than the original layout, despite of considerable variations in wind direction and speed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRenewable Energy
    Pages (from-to)182-192
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Wind farm layout optimization
    • Random search
    • Refinement tool
    • Optimization tool
    • Horns Rev
    • Robustness


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