wind farm, wind plant, optimization, wind farm layout optimization, large eddy simulation, LES, gradient-based optimization, SOWFA


The models used during wind farm layout optimization use simplifying assumptions that can alter the design space. Some characteristics of the simple models may negatively influence the resulting layouts. In this paper, we perform wind farm layout optimization using a simple wake model and compare the resulting improvements to large-eddy simulation (LES) results to confirm that the layout was actually improved. We begin by describing the models used, including changes specific for use with gradient-based optimization. We then compare our models’ output to previously published model and LES results. Using the models described, we performed gradient-based wind farm layout optimization using exact gradients. Power production for the original and optimized layouts were recalculated using LES. The model and LES results were then compared. The simple models predicted an improvement in annual energy production (AEP) of 7.4%, while the LES reported an AEP improvement of 9.9%. We concluded that the improvements found by optimizing with the simple models are not just an artifact of the model characteristics, but are real improvements.

Original Publication Citation

Thomas, J. J., Annoni, J., Fleming, P., and Ning, A., “Comparison of Wind Farm Layout Optimization Results Using a Simple Wake Model and Gradient-Based Optimization to Large-Eddy Simulations,” AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum, San Diego, CA, Jan. 2019. doi:10.2514/6.2019-0538

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date







Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor