The fundamental goal is to optimize energy efficiency, minimize capital and operational costs, and remain within the site's constraints.
FREMONT, CA: The initial design of the wind farm may have significant consequences for its potential profitability. Centered on offshore wind farms and applicable to offshore wind farms, below are some critical considerations.
If a site has been identified, and a decision has been made to invest in its development, the wind farm design process will begin. The fundamental goal is to optimize energy efficiency, minimize capital and operational costs, and remain within the site's constraints. As constraints and expenses are all subject to some degree of uncertainty, the optimization process often seeks to reduce risk. The first task is to identify development constraints:
• Maximum installed capability (due to grid connection and other factors).
• Site boundary.
• Set back—from highways, houses, overhead lines, and so on.
• Environmental restriction.
• Location of noise-sensitive housing and evaluation criteria.
• Area of visually sensitive standpoints.
• Location of dwellings that could be affected by flickering shadows cast by spinning blades.
• Minimum turbine spacing as defined by the supplier of the turbine.
• Constraints correlated with contact signals.
These constraints can change as discussions and negotiations with different parties progress, so this is eventually an iterative process. A preparatory design of the wind farm can be generated when the possible constraints are established. As a rough model, the installed capacity is estimated to be on the order of 12 MW/km2, unless significant restrictions affect the efficient use of available land.
It is essential to define approximately the sizes of the turbine under consideration to determine the preliminary layout. The choice of a particular turbine model is always best left to a more comprehensive design process when potential turbine suppliers' commercial terms are understood. At this point, therefore, it is either possible to use a generic turbine design, specified in terms of a range of rotor diameters and a range of hub heights, or to continue with several layouts, each based on particular wind turbines.