Wind farms have become a common sight both on land and at sea – not least in Denmark, where wind turbines supply a quarter of the power. But how does it actually affect wind turbines, if you arrange them closely together, and overall, how do you get the most benefits in terms of financial outcome from a wind farm? TOPFARM, a large-scale EU project led by Risø DTU, has been looking into these matters during the last 3 years. The result: a simulation platform that can optimize the total economic benefits.

 

A recently completed EU project, TOPFARM, has focused on how a wide range of factors affect the economically optimum location of each wind turbine within the wind farms – in technical terms this is called the topology of a wind farm. And contrary to common practice, productions as well as costs associated with the establishment and operation of each wind turbine are included in the model of calculation.

These costs generally cover expenses which depend on the topology of the farm. They could be costs associated with operation and maintenance; costs related to the fatigue load of the main components of a wind turbine and startup expenses related to foundations, grid, roads etc.

”A selected case analysis of Middelgrunden Windfarm has shown that exactly the expenses to establish, for example, an electricity network mean a lot to the total benefit. The analysis furthermore shows that the load caused by turbulent wakes behind each wind turbine could have an impact on the optimum wind farm topology and thus on the economy of a wind farm – this aspect would naturally not be considered by an optimization model exclusively relying on the final product, namely power generation,” explains Gunner Chr. Larsen, senior scientist at Risø DTU, who has been the project coordinator for TOPFARM.

 

To know more about the project visit… here

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