As part of the EU-funded FLOTANT project, TX has developed advanced software for designing the cables that collect power from individual offshore wind turbines: so-called “array cables”.
TX identified that there were few products available for the optimisation of array cables when they are configured to form loops, an approach used on a third of UK offshore wind farms and 80% of German offshore wind farms. It is also an approach that is likely to be particularly useful on future floating wind farms.
The software developed by TX has a number of advanced features:
- It considers not only capital costs, but also the cost of losses and the cost of curtailing generation following a fault.
- Cable crossing are allowed, with the extra cost of the crossing being included in the optimisation. This can give cheaper layouts in some situations.
- The cable cross sections are optimised, with the optimiser finding the best 2 (or best 3) sizes from the full range of possible sizes and also deciding which size of cable should be used for each connection in the array.
- For large wind farms, the software will automatically break the wind farm into areas connected to separate offshore substations.
- The optimum location can be found for the offshore substation (or multiple substations where the wind farm is large).
Tests of the software against actual wind farm designs have shown cost reductions on the array cables of up to 7%. On all tested projects – even projects still under construction – we found that TX’s software gave savings of several million pounds.
For more information see our report, or contact TX on +44 7767 298 983.