Optimization of cable layout designs for large offshore wind farms
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Installation of a wind farm exposes several problems such as site selection, placement of wind turbines in the site, and designing of cable infrastructure within the farm. The latter problem, called cable layout design, is the determination of cable connections among turbines and one or more transmitters such that energies generated by turbines will be sent through the cable routes, and eventually gathered at the transmitter(s). This problem is especially important for offshore wind farms where the featured and expensive cables are used. The main objective of the present study is to address the cable layout design problem of offshore wind farms to reduce cable costs in the design using optimization-based approaches. The problem, firstly, is modelled as a mixed integer linear program (MIP) under a set of real-life constraints such as different cable and transmitter types and non-crossing connections between the turbines. Then, a novel mathematical model, which is a modification of the MIP model by imposing several heuristic rules, is proposed to solve the layout problem of large offshore wind farms. Experiments on a set of small- and moderate-sized test instances reveal that the heuristic model, MIP_H, reduces the computer time nearly 55% compared to that of MIP model while the average cable costs generated by the models are close to each other. MIP_H, besides its efficiency, provides more cost-effective layouts compared to MIP model for large-sized real-life examples. Additionally, a comparative study on MIP_H and existing methods in the literature shows that MIP_H is able to solve all instances of the real-life examples providing less cable costs in average.
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