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Automatic Contour-Based Road Network Design for Optimized Wind Farm Micrositing


Constructing the access roads between wind turbines requires a significant cost when a wind farm is built in hills or mountains. An optimized design of road network can substantially reduce construction costs and increase investment returns. In this paper, we consider a challenging problem of the road network design for a wind farm with complex topography. An automatic contour-based model is developed for road network design, and is incorporated into the optimization of wind farm micrositing to maximize investment returns of the wind farm. The directions of access roads are first deduced from a contour tree, the route projections are then designed by a gradient-bounded algorithm, and the most cost-effective road network is finally obtained by the minimum spanning tree algorithm. The topographic speedup, wind resource grid and Park wake model are incorporated to accurately evaluate the power production of the wind farm. Both the profit of wind energy sales and the cost of access roads are combined into a cost function called net present value, which is optimized using genetic algorithms. Simulation results illustrate that the length of access roads is decreased significantly while the locations of wind turbines are optimized. The proposed method simultaneously optimizes the turbine layout and road network of the wind farm, therefore achieving a more practical and profitable wind farm micrositing.

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