Project diagram Copyright: © CWD  

Multidimensional Wind Farm Optimization "WiFO"

Wind energy has become one of the most important renewable energy sources. At windy locations, levelized cost of energy can already keep up with those of conventional energy sources. However, these locations are onshore and are not available indefinitely. For this reason, locations with less wind must be considered too.

In order to maintain a low levelized cost of energy at these locations as well, the few available areas must be used effectively, and various influencing factors must be considered. These include distance regulations to adjoining residential and utility areas, shadow flicker, acoustic emissions, animal welfare, etc. Due to bird strike prevention as well as shadow flicker compensation, onshore wind farms can suffer high power losses of up to 20% nowadays. Some of these losses can already be incorporated in the design phase.

In the "WiFO" project, an optimization tool is being developed that can be used in Germany. Based on the site data, WiFO first determines the wind conditions, weather data and the surrounding buildings at the site fully automatically. During the evaluation of the initial wind farm, aerodynamic losses, internal farm cabling and BImSchG-related losses are determined.

In a further step, the initial wind farm is optimized. Different optimizations can be executed:

  • Placement of the wind turbines
  • Optimal number of wind turbines
  • Optimal wind turbine configuration

An optimal wind turbine configuration exists for each layout of a wind farm. Therefore, a methodology is being developed within the project to consider all three aspects of optimization as a holistic problem. A layout with site-specific wind turbines is expected to reduce electricity production costs and increase annual production.