Increasing Wind Farms Efficiency

Increasing Wind Farms Efficiency

Researchers have completed an algorithm or an approach to design more efficient wind farms.

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Researchers have completed an algorithm or an approach to design more efficient wind farms. Ultimately, this would lead to generating more revenue for builders and more renewable energy for their customers.

The algorithm was completed by researchers at Penn State Behrend and the University of Tabriz, Iran, as Science Daily reported in an article on the subject.

“The efficiency of solar panels is less than 25 percent and is still a subject of current research. Wind turbines, on the other hand, are much more efficient and convert over 45 percent of the wind energy to electricity.”

Seems like wind turbines are efficient, but wind farm layouts can reduce this efficiency if they`re not properly designed. One problem is that builders do not always put turbines in the place, where there`re the highest wind speeds to be able to generate the most power, as Rasouli.

Another thing that`s important is turbine spacing because turbines create drag that lowers wind speed. The first turbines to catch the wind will generate more power than the ones coming after.

These factors must be taken into account by wind farm designers. Other things to be considered include land size, geography, number of turbines, amount of vegetation, meteorological conditions, building costs, as well as other considerations.

“This is a multi-objective approach. We have a function and we want to optimize it while taking into account various constraints.”. Explained Rasouli.

What was the approach the researchers used? The focused on “biogeographical-based optimization” (BBO). The approach is based on how animals naturally distribute themselves to make the best use of their environment. The idea is that a mathematical model is being created based on animal behavior. Then, the researchers receive the possibility of calculating the optimal distribution of objects in other scenarios like turbines on a wind farm.

Rasouli comments:

“This BBO method minimizes computation and gives better results, finding the optimum solution at less computational cost.”

Last but not least, the researchers improved the BBO approach by incorporating a more realistic model for calculating wakes or areas with slower wing speeds created after the wind blows past a turbine. This is similar to the wake that is observed behind a boat.

Rasouli said:

“There is an end time for fossil fuels. With this and upcoming methods or better optimization approaches, we can make better use of wind energy.”