FLOWERS: An Integral Approach to Engineering Wake Models

Michael LoCascio, Christopher Bay, Majid Bastankhah, Garrett Barter, Paul Fleming, Luis Martinez-Tossas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Annual energy production (AEP) is often the objective function in wind plant layout optimization studies. The conventional method to compute AEP for a wind farm is to first evaluate power production for each wind direction and speed using either computational fluid dynamics simulations or engineering wake models. The AEP is then calculated by weighted-averaging (based on the wind rose at the wind farm site) the power produced across all wind directions. We propose a novel formulation for time-averaged wake velocity that incorporates an analytical integral of a wake deficit model across every wind direction. This approach computes the average flow field more efficiently, and layout optimization is an obvious application to exploit this benefit. The clear advantage of this new approach is that the layout optimization produces solutions with comparable AEP performance yet is completed about 700 times faster. The analytical integral and the use of a Fourier expansion to express the wind speed and wind direction frequency create a more smooth solution space for the gradient-based optimizer to excel compared with the discrete nature of the existing weighted-averaging power calculation.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
JournalWind Energy Science Discussions
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-81140


  • layout optimization
  • wake model


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