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Optimizing the Layout of Offshore Wind Energy Systems

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Offshore wind energy technology is a reality in Europe and is poised to make a significant contribution to the U.S. energy supply in the near future as well. The layout of an offshore wind farm is a complex problem involving many trade-offs. For example, energy production increases with turbine spacing, as do electrical costs and losses. Energy production also increases with distance from shore, but so do O&M (operations and maintenance), foundation, transmission, and installation costs. Determining which of these factors dominates requires a thorough understanding of the physics behind these trade-offs, can lead to the optimal layout, and helps lower the cost of energy from these farms. This paper presents the results of a study carried out to investigate these trade-offs and to develop a method for optimizing the wind farm layout during the micrositing phase of an offshore wind energy system design. It presents a method for analyzing the cost of energy from offshore wind farms as well as a summary of the development of an offshore wind farm layout optimization tool. In addition to an initial validation of the optimization tool, an example of the use of this tool for the design of an offshore wind farm in Hull, Massachusetts, is also given.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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