Efficient Loads Surrogates for Waked Turbines in an Array

Kelsey Shaler, John Jasa, Garrett Barter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Accurately and efficiently predicting wind turbine structural loading is a crucial step in wind farm design. Without considering structural loading, wind farm optimization could negatively impact turbine fatigue and ultimate loads, especially for waked and partially waked turbines, which could result in higher maintenance costs and reduced turbine lifetime. However, predicting turbine loads throughout an array is a costly step, as these quantities require time-accurate results across long time histories, which is often intractable for large array optimization. Therefore, surrogate models that link array spacing to load outputs are often used, but the surrogates are then unique to the inflow conditions and array configurations in the training library. This work develops surrogate models for many wind turbine load outputs based solely on rotor plane velocity measurements, with no required input about array configuration or freestream inflow parameters. Surrogate models were constructed for many turbine quantities of interest (QoI), considering mean, standard deviation, ultimate, and fatigue loads. In general, most QoI statistics were accurately captured, as measured by predicted vs. actual correlation coefficient, confirming the suitability of the approach. Temporal mean values of the QoI required only temporal mean measurements of the rotor plane inflow velocity. However, accurate prediction of temporal standard deviation, ultimate, and fatigue values of QoI also required temporal standard deviations of the rotor plane velocity field. Poor surrogate performance was observed when too many correlated inputs were used, such as multiple velocity components. If the fewest inflow parameters are used to construct the surrogates, the average correlation coefficient value for all output QoI statistics is 0.89. Surrogates for standard deviations and damage equivalent loads (DELs) of turbine QoIs generally had lower accuracy and tower-base and shaft load channels posed the most difficult to capture accurately. The results suggest that these surrogates could be easily paired with analytic wake models, which are frequently used for pre-construction wind farm array optimization, to account for turbine loading in addition to power production. By including the optimal inflow conditions, the surrogate accuracy can improve to an average correlation coefficient value for all output QoI statistics of 0.92. This work has established the ability to build accurate surrogates for mean, standard deviation, ultimate load, and DEL turbine QoI values based on the rotor plane inflow velocity, and identified which inflow conditions lead to greater surrogate accuracy.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 032095
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2022
Event2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jun 20223 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-82524


  • fatigue loads
  • loads
  • surrogate modeling
  • ultimate loads
  • wind farm


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