Wind farm optimization using evolutionary algorithms

Carlos M Ituarte-Villarreal, University of Texas at El Paso


In recent years, the wind power industry has focused its efforts on solving the Wind Farm Layout Optimization (WFLO) problem. Wind resource assessment is a pivotal step in optimizing the wind-farm design and siting and, in determining whether a project is economically feasible or not. In the present work, three (3) different optimization methods are proposed for the solution of the WFLO: (i) A modified Viral System Algorithm applied to the optimization of the proper location of the components in a wind-farm to maximize the energy output given a stated wind environment of the site. The optimization problem is formulated as the minimization of energy cost per unit produced and applies a penalization for the lack of system reliability. The viral system algorithm utilized in this research solves three (3) well-known problems in the wind-energy literature; (ii) a new multiple objective evolutionary algorithm to obtain optimal placement of wind turbines while considering the power output, cost, and reliability of the system. The algorithm presented is based on evolutionary computation and the objective functions considered are the maximization of power output, the minimization of wind farm cost and the maximization of system reliability. The final solution to this multiple objective problem is presented as a set of Pareto solutions and, (iii) A hybrid viral-based optimization algorithm adapted to find the proper component configuration for a wind farm with the introduction of the universal generating function (UGF) analytical approach to discretize the different operating or mechanical levels of the wind turbines in addition to the various wind speed states. The proposed methodology considers the specific probability functions of the wind resource to describe their proper behaviors to account for the stochastic comportment of the renewable energy components, aiming to increase their power output and the reliability of these systems. The developed heuristic considers a variable number of system components and wind turbines with different operating characteristics and sizes, to have a more heterogeneous model that can deal with changes in the layout and in the power generation requirements over the time. Moreover, the approach evaluates the impact of the wind-wake effect of the wind turbines upon one another to describe and evaluate the power production capacity reduction of the system depending on the layout distribution of the wind turbines.

Subject Area

Environmental engineering|Energy|Operations research

Recommended Citation

Ituarte-Villarreal, Carlos M, "Wind farm optimization using evolutionary algorithms" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000762.