Offshore wind farms involve complex optimisation challenges, as numerous factors must considered like wind direction, water depths, erosion zones, foundation costs, physical obstacles, types of cables, cable loss and the fact that the wind turbines do not cast 'shadows' on each other. The location of each individual turbine in a farm is also important to avoid that they so to speak 'steal' energy from the turbines behind them.

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Now a new system developed by Lead Engineer and PhD Martina Fischetti aspires to changes both the farm design and the process. The new tool aims to streamline the process so that all factors are considered in the software. What is more, overnight the program carries out thousands of simulations considering all factors before it delivers an optimised layout for the location of the turbines and cable routing to the engineers.

According to Martina Fischetti:

By optimising the turbine layout and cable routing we can reduce the costs of a wind farm and increase its production and achieve total gains in the order of 10 million euros for each farm. In this way we can reduce the price of wind power

This software was used to design the Danish Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm in the Baltic, which won with a record-low bid and for Hollandse Kust Zuid 1+2 in the Netherlands, the first project in the world to be built without any subsidies.

The tool has been developed by Martina Fischetti in close collaboration between the Danish Technical University and Vattenfall. For her work, she has received the Innovation Fund Denmark’s 2019 Industrial Researcher prize.