Vattenfall has developed a new mathematical tool said to enable the optimization of power generation and costs in the design phase of offshore wind projects.
Developed in close cooperation of Vattenfall’s Lead Engineer Martina Fischetti and Danish Technical University, the tool is said to change both the project design and the process which was previously cumbersome and took weeks.
According to Vattenfall, before the deployment of such tools within the company, wind farm design was based on a multi-step process depending on the experience of the individual engineer and standard tools.
Designing offshore wind farms implies highly complex optimization challenges and many factors, the company said, adding that if a preliminary layout was unacceptable, turbine locations were manually adapted and the layout passed to another team for checking and adaptation, which is time-consuming, requires many people and results are suboptimal.
“The new tool streamlines the process so that all factors are considered in the software at the same time and overnight the program performs thousands of simulations considering all factors before it delivers an optimised layout for the location of the turbines and cable routing to the engineers,” said Martina Fischetti.
“By optimising the turbine layout and cable routing we can reduce the costs of a wind farm and increase its production and achieve total gains in the order of 10 million euros for each farm. In this way we can reduce the price of wind power.”
The tool was used for the design of the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm in Denmark, which won a record-low bid, as well as for the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 and 2 in the Netherlands, the first project to be built without subsidies.
Vattenfall also said the software contributed substantially to its competitiveness in tenders by creating better layouts, quantifying the impact of new design choices and delivering design input for alternative business cases for each wind farm.