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Placement of wind turbine using genetic algorithms

Placement of wind turbine using genetic algorithms

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www.elsevier.com/locate/renene

Technical note

genetic algorithms

S.A. Grady a,, M.Y. Hussaini a, M.M. Abdullah b

a

School for Computational Science and Information Technology, The Florida State University,

400 Dirac Science Library, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4120, USA

Department of Civil Engineering, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, Florida A&M University,

2525 Pottsdammer Street, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA

Received 8 February 2004; accepted 6 May 2004

Abstract

A genetic algorithm approach is employed to obtain optimal placement of wind turbines

for maximum production capacity while limiting the number of turbines installed and the

acreage of land occupied by each wind farm. Specically, three cases are considered(a)

unidirectional uniform wind, (b) uniform wind with variable direction, and (c) non-uniform

wind with variable direction. In Case (a), 600 individuals are initially distributed over

20 subpopulations and evolve over 3000 generations. Case (b) has 600 individuals spread

over 20 subpopulations initially and evolves for 3000 generations. Case (c) starts with 600

individuals spread over 20 subpopulations and evolves for 2500 generations. In addition to

optimal congurations, results include tness, total power output, eciency of power output

and number of turbines for each conguration. Disagreement with the results of an earlier

study is observed and a possible explanation is provided.

# 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Wind turbines; Siting; Optimization; Genetic algorithm

1. Introduction

Two main reasons for interest in wind as an energy source are diminishing fossil

fuel resources and the eect use of fossil fuel sources has on the environment.

Wind energy, a widely available derivative of solar energy that has been captured

E-mail address: grady@csit.fsu.edu (S.A. Grady).

0960-1481/$ - see front matter # 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi:10.1016/j.renene.2004.05.007

260

low cost alternative to traditional energy sources. Considerable development has

taken place in the design of wind energy conversion systems. Modern wind turbines are highly sophisticated machines built on the aerodynamic principles

developed in the aerospace industry. Advanced materials and electronics have been

incorporated into wind turbines designed to deliver energy across a wide range of

wind speeds.

As rule of thumb, 10 ha/MW can be taken as the land requirement of wind

farms, including infrastructure [1]. The spacing of a cluster of machines in a wind

farm depends on the terrain, the wind direction and speed, and the turbine size.

According to Patel, the optimal spacing is found in rows 812 rotor diameters

apart in the windward direction, and 1.53 rotor diameters apart in the crosswind

direction [2]. Ammara et al. [3] contended that this intuitive spacing scheme resulted in sparse wind farms that were ineciently using the wind energy potential of

the site. A dense, staggered siting scheme was proposed that would yield production similar to the sparse scheme, but would use less land. While this approach

successfully reduced the land mass required for a given amount of wind turbines,

the method of placement was still intuitive.

Mosetti et al. proposed a position optimization scheme based on genetic algorithms [4]. In this research, algorithms were developed for wind farm performance

evaluation and optimization. The investment cost and the total power extracted

were the variables optimized. The wind and cost models chosen were incomplex for

the purposes of demonstrating the eectiveness of the optimization algorithm.

While the power and eciency calculations of the optimally placed wind turbines

compare favorably with a greater number of randomly placed turbines, the optimal

congurations presented do not yield even the simplest empirical placement

schemes. This study seeks to determine the eectiveness of the genetic algorithm

optimization procedure in identifying optimum congurations.

As in the Mosetti study, a wake model similar to the Jensen analysis is used for

simplication of the wind eld calculations [47]. This wake analysis is based on

the assumption that momentum is conserved inside the wake. In the analysis of a

single wake, the near eld behind the wind turbine is neglected making it possible

to model the resulting wake as a turbulent wake or a negative jet. At the turbine,

the wake has a radius equal to the turbine radius, rr. As the wake propagates

downstream, the radius of the wake, r1, increases linearly, proportional to the

downstream distance, x, as shown in Fig. 1.

After performing a momentum balance and using Betz theory to determine the

wind speed immediately behind the rotor, the following expression is derived to

261

u u0 1

2a

;

1 ax=r1

where u0 is the mean wind speed, a is the axial induction factor, x is the distance

downstream of the turbine, r1 is the downstream rotor radius, and a is the entrainment constant. The downstream radius, r1, is related to the rotor radius, rr, by the

following expression:

r

1a

r1 rr

:

1 2a

The turbine thrust coecient, CT, is related to the axial induction factor in the

following relation:

CT 4a1 a:

a

0:5

;

lnz=z0

where z is the hub height of the wind turbine, and z0 is the surface roughness.

In the instance of a wind turbine encountering multiple wakes, the kinetic energy

of the mixed wake can be assumed to be equal to the sum of the kinetic energy deficits. This results in the following expression for the velocity downstream of N tur-

262

bines:

v3

u N

uX

u 25

t

4

:

ui u0 1

1

u0

i1

2

The power extracted from the wind by a wind turbine is a function of local wind

speed. Direction, intensity, and probability of occurrence are characteristics dening

the local wind eld. Particular aspects of the wind turbine aecting the power

extracted are hub height, rotor diameter, and thrust coecient.

The investment cost of the wind turbines is modeled in such a manner that only

the number of turbines need be considered in calculating the total cost. Mosetti

et al. assumed that the non-dimensionalized cost/year of a single turbine is one

with a maximum reduction in cost of 1/3 for each additional turbine, provided a

large number of them are installed. Consequently, it can be assumed that the total

cost/year for the entire wind park can be expressed as follows [4]:

2 1 0:00174N 2

cost N

e

:

6

3 3

The optimization will proceed based on the following objective function:

Objective

cost

;

Ptot

where cost is described above, and Ptot is the total power extracted by all of the N

turbines in the wind farm. This objective function will minimize the cost per unit

energy produced.

3. Optimization

Genetic algorithms are probabilistic search algorithms combining the mechanics

of natural selection and survival of the ttest. These algorithms are capable of

eciently nding an optimal solution for complex problems without necessitating

reformulation for the evaluation of individual solution candidates. Unlike calculusbased methods, genetic algorithms are robust, global, and do not require the

existence of derivatives for search. Enumerative schemes are lacking in robustness

due to ineciency in the search of each point in the solution space. Random searches, in the long run, do not perform any better than enumerative methods and are

likewise inecient.

Genetic algorithms operate on a coding of the parameter set rather than the

parameters themselves. The locus of search is over a population rather than a single point. The genetic algorithm only requires information from the objective function, not derivatives of the objective or other collateral information. Transition

rules in genetic algorithms are probabilistic, not deterministic [8].

The coding, breeding, and selection of the parameters in the search space determine the evolution of the solution in genetic algorithms. In a binary coded genetic

263

algorithm, individuals are strings comprised of ones and zeros. Several individuals

make up a population, and within this population, parent individuals are reproduced. The ttest individuals will be selected, and parent pairs will be reproduced

by crossover. In a uniform crossover operation, any point in the string has potential to become a crossover point. Crossover points are chosen randomly, with each

parent having equal probability of contributing variables to the ospring [9].

Mutation is the random switching of a bit in the individual string to the opposite

value and ensures that the genetic algorithm does not locate a false minimum as

the solution. The illustration in Fig. 2 shows examples of the breeding process in

genetic algorithms.

In the implementation of the genetic algorithm for optimization, the population

size, the number of subpopulations, and the maximum number of generations for

evolution must be chose. All of these quantities are determined based on the number of independent variables, n, in the system to be optimized. The population

must contain enough individuals to adequately span the computational space. The

p

population size should contain a minimum of n individuals, spread over subp

p

populations numbering 2 n. The minimum number of generations is 200 n [9].

264

Table 1

Wind turbine properties

Hub height (z)

Rotor radius (rr)

Thrust coecient (CT)

60 m

40 m

0.88

4. Numerical procedure

A square grid divided into 100 possible turbine locations was used as the computational domain. The width of each cell, in the center of which a turbine would be

placed, is equal to ve rotor diameters, 5D, or 200 m, giving the domain dimensions of 50D 50D. Based on the dimensions of the computational domain, the

maximum radius of the wake from a single turbine placed in the position x; y

100 m; 100 m (see Fig. 3 as a reference) is 189.9 m. The width of each cell, in

the center of which a turbine would be placed, is equal to ve rotor diameters, or

200 m. Therefore, the wake of a column of turbines would not aect turbines in an

adjacent column. In addition, the 5D square grid size already satises the rule of

thumb spacing requirements in the vertical and horizontal directions.

The turbine considered for this study has properties as given in Table 1. The

thrust coecient can be considered constant for the velocities considered. The

ground roughness of the site is z0 0:3 m. The power curve presented in Mosetti

for the turbine under consideration yields the following expression for power:

P

N

X

0:3u3i :

Three cases will be investigated. The rst case, (a), is the case of uniform wind

direction with a wind speed of 12 m/s, as shown in Fig. 3. The only change in

wind speed for this case would occur in the wake of the wind turbines. The second

case, (b), is the case of multi-directional wind with a mean wind speed of 12 m/s.

Each of the 36 angles under consideration represent 10 degree increments from 0 to

360 degrees each of which has an equal fraction of occurrence. The third case, (c), is

that of wind having multiple directions and variable speeds of 8, 12, and 17 m/s.

The fraction of occurrence for each angle at each wind speed is shown in Fig. 4,

where the sum of occurrences is unity.

5.1. Case (a)

The optimal solution for Case (a) can be derived heuristically. The domain

under consideration for this study uses a wake model that increases in diameter

only as a function of downstream distance. A simple optimization of one 10-cell

column in the computational domain can therefore be projected across the entire

265

266

Fig. 6. Case (a): optimal congurations (i) Mosetti et al.s study, and (ii) present study.

domain in order to nd the optimal solution for this simple wind scenario. This

optimization produced an optimal conguration of three turbines in positions 1, 6

and 10 as shown in Fig. 5. This conguration will produce 1431 kW year of power

with a tness value of 0.0020927. By placing the middle turbine at position 5 rather

than position 6, the power produced is reduced to 1430 kW year with a tness

value of 0.0020943. The dierence is subtle, but when this column is projected

across the computational domain, the dierence becomes signicant.

Optimal solutions for case 1 are presented in Fig. 6. The Mossetti et al. solution

for is shown in Fig. 6(i). The heuristic solution and the solution obtained by this

present work were identical and are presented in Fig. 6(ii). Table 2 is a comparison of the tness, total power output, eciency of power output and number of

turbines for each conguration. While the eciency of power produced in the previous Mosetti et al. study and the current study are comparable, the total power

out produced is greater for this study. Dierences in coding notwithstanding, it is

possible that the work done by Mosetti et al. did not run enough individuals for

sucient generations. In that study, a population of 200 individuals was allowed to

evolve over 400 generations, upon which time it was determined to have reached

convergence. In the present study, 600 individuals distributed among 20 subpopulations were allowed to evolve over 3000 generations. While the number of

generations was high, the solution was reached after 1203 generations and

Table 2

Comparison of solution characteristicsCase (a)

Fitness value

Total power (kW year)

Eciency (%)

Number of turbines

ii

0.0016197

12 352

91.645

26

0.0015436

14 310

92.015

30

267

Fig. 7. Fitness curve for population size of 600 for Case (a).

remained constant for the remainder of the run. Fig. 7 shows the tness evolution

over this period.

5.2. Case (b)

For the more complicated case of multi-directional wind, the optimal solution is

not empirical. However, it is assumed that a similarly ordered solution is obtainable for this case. With each angle receiving equal probability of occurring, it can

be presumed that no direction will be preferred in the solution. In the example of

Mosetti et al., this translated into a solution that had turbines scattered around the

outer perimeter of the domain, with few in the center. Fig. 8(i) shows the optimized

conguration obtained by Mosetti et al., and Fig. 8(ii) shows the optimized conguration obtained in this study. Table 3 is a comparison of the tness, total

power output, eciency of power output and number of turbines for each con-

Fig. 8. Case (b): optimal congurations(i) Mosetti et al.s study, and (ii) present study.

268

Table 3

Comparison of solution characteristicsCase (b)

Fitness value

Total power (kW year)

Eciency (%)

Number of turbines

ii

0.0017371

9244.7

93.859

19

0.0015666

17 220

85.174

39

Fig. 9. Fitness curve for population size of 600 for Case (b).

obtained for this study increases the total power for the wind farm. This number of

turbines and level of power output are optimized for cost per unit of power produced, yielding a tness value lower than the Mosetti et al. conguration, which

included 20 fewer turbines than the current study. The drawback of this increased

number of turbines is that the eciency of the power produced by the wind farm

as a whole is decreased from ~93% to ~85%. While it would be desirable to have a

more ecient system of turbines, the eciency of power produced was not a parameter included in the objective function for optimization of this problem. This

could be a constraint added to the problem for future research. Case (b) was run

with 600 individuals distributed over 20 subpopulations and allowed of evolve for

3000 generations. Fig. 9 shows the tness evolution over this period.

5.3. Case (c)

From Fig. 4, it is obvious that the higher wind speeds prevail, and particularly

v

v

between the angles from 270 to 350 . This being considered, the order in the solution will most likely lie along those directions. Mosetti et al. predicted an optimum number of turbines between 15 and 18 for this case. Fig. 10(a) shows the

269

Fig. 10. Case (c): optimal congurations(i) Mosetti et al.s study, and (ii) present study.

Table 4

Comparison of solution characteristicsCase (c)

Fitness value

Total power (kW year)

Eciency (%)

Number of turbines

ii

0.00099405

13 460

94.62

15

0.00080314

32 038

86.619

39

optimized conguration obtained by Mosetti et al., and Fig. 10(b) shows the optimized conguration obtained in this study. Table 4 is a comparison of the tness,

total power output, eciency of power output and number of turbines for each

conguration. The tness for the current study is much lower than that of the

Fig. 11. Fitness curve for population size of 600 for Case (c).

270

Mosetti et al. conguration. As observed in Case (b), the total power output is

more than double, as is the number of turbines. Again, the increase in the number

of turbines, as in Case (b), eects a reduction in the eciency of power produced in

the system. The huge discrepancy in the amount of power produced, however, in

addition to the reduction in cost per unit of power produced, justies the sacrice

of eciency. Case (c) was run with 600 individuals distributed over 20 subpopulations and allowed of evolve for 1000 generations. Fig. 11 shows the tness evolution over this period.

6. Conclusions

The results of the present study demonstrate that genetic algorithms could accurately predict optimal wind farm congurations. In the simple case of uniform unidirectional wind, heuristic arguments verify the optimal conguration of the

present study, which is at odds with that of Mosetti et al. It is possible that their

work did not run enough individuals for sucient number of generations to

achieve convergence. Although the genetic algorithm is an eective global search

method, it can be computationally expensive for problems with a large number of

independent variables. A problem formulation compliant with a real-coded genetic

algorithm could reduce the number of variables. Current computing resources

allow the extension of the present study to include more realistic wind and wake

models and many more individuals within the population, which will be the subject

of future study.

References

[1] Bansal RC, Shatti TS, Kothari DP. On some of the design aspects of wind energy conversion systems. Energy Convers Manag 2002;43(16):217587.

[2] Patel MR. Wind and Power Solar Systems. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 1999.

[3] Ammara I, Leclerc C, Masson C. A viscous three-dimensional dierential/actuator-disk method for

the aerodynamic analysis of wind farms. J Sol Energy Eng 2002;124(4):34556.

[4] Mosetti G, Poloni C, Diviacco B. Optimization of wind turbine positioning in large wind farms by

means of a genetic algorithm. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 1994;51(1):10516.

[5] Jensen NO. A note of wind generator interaction. Roskilde, Denmark: Ris National Laboratory;

1993.

[6] Katic I, Hojstrup J, Jensen NO. A simple model for cluster eciency. Proceedings of the European

Wind Energy Association Conference and Exhibition. 1986, p. 40710.

[7] Frandsen S. On the wind speed reduction in the center of large clusters of wind turbines. Proceedings

of the European Wind Energy Conference. 1991, p. 37580.

[8] Goldberg DE. Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization, and Machine Learning. Reading (MA):

Addison-Wesley; 1989.

[9] Pohlheim H. GEATbx: Genetic and Evolutionary Algorithm Toolbox for use with MATLAB, 1999.

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