Maximization of the Annual Energy Production of Wind Power Plants by Optimization of Layout and Yaw-Based Wake Control

Pieter Gebraad, Jared J. Thomas, Andrew Ning, Paul Fleming, Katherine Dykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus Citations


This paper presents a wind plant modeling and optimization tool that enables the maximization of wind plant annual energy production (AEP) using yaw-based wake steering control and layout changes. The tool is an extension of a wake engineering model describing the steady-state effects of yaw on wake velocity profiles and power productions of wind turbines in a wind plant. To make predictions of a wind plant's AEP, necessary extensions of the original wake model include coupling it with a detailed rotor model and a control policy for turbine blade pitch and rotor speed. This enables the prediction of power production with wake effects throughout a range of wind speeds. We use the tool to perform an example optimization study on a wind plant based on the Princess Amalia Wind Park. In this case study, combined optimization of layout and wake steering control increases AEP by 5%. The power gains from wake steering control are highest for region 1.5 inflow wind speeds, and they continue to be present to some extent for the above-rated inflow wind speeds. The results show that layout optimization and wake steering are complementary because significant AEP improvements can be achieved with wake steering in a wind plant layout that is already optimized to reduce wake losses.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalWind Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-65892


  • wind plant optimization
  • wind plant systems engineering
  • wind turbine control
  • wind turbine wakes


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