Gradient-Based Optimization of Wind Farms with Different Turbine Heights

Andrew P.J. Stanley, Jared Thomas, Andrew Ning, Jennifer Annoni, Katherine Dykes, Paul Fleming

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


Turbine wakes reduce power production in a wind farm. Current wind farms are generally built with turbines that are all the same height, but if wind farms included turbines with different tower heights, the cost of energy may be reduced. We used gradient-based optimization to demonstrate a method to optimize wind farms with varied hub heights. Our study includes a modified version of the FLORIS wake model that accommodates three-dimensional wakes integrated with a tower structural model. Our purpose was to design a process to minimize the cost of energy of a wind farm through layout optimization and varying turbine hub heights. Results indicate that when a farm is optimized for layout and height with two separate height groups, COE can be lowered by as much as 5-9%, compared to a similar layout and height optimization where all the towers are the same. The COE has the best improvement in farms with high turbine density and low wind shear exponent.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2017
Event35th Wind Energy Symposium, 2017 - Grapevine, United States
Duration: 9 Jan 201713 Jan 2017


Conference35th Wind Energy Symposium, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-67661 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-68545


  • gradient-based optimization
  • optimization
  • systems engineering
  • wind plant design
  • wind plant layout optimization


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