Improving the FLORIS Wind Plant Model for Compatibility with Gradient-Based Optimization

Pieter Gebraad, Jared Thomas, Andrew Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus Citations


The FLORIS (FLOw Redirection and Induction in Steady-state) model, a parametric wind turbine wake model that predicts steady-state wake characteristics based on wind turbine position and yaw angle, was developed for optimization of control settings and turbine locations. This article provides details on changes made to the FLORIS model to make the model more suitable for gradient-based optimization. Changes to the FLORIS model were made to remove discontinuities and add curvature to regions of non-physical zero gradient. Exact gradients for the FLORIS model were obtained using algorithmic differentiation. A set of three case studies demonstrate that using exact gradients with gradient-based optimization reduces the number of function calls by several orders of magnitude. The case studies also show that adding curvature improves convergence behavior, allowing gradient-based optimization algorithms used with the FLORIS model to more reliably find better solutions to wind farm optimization problems.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
JournalWind Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-70301


  • gradients
  • optimization
  • wake model
  • wind energy
  • wind farm design
  • wind turbine wake
  • yaw


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