Efficient distributed optimization of wind farms using proximal primal-dual algorithms

Jennifer Annoni, Emiliano Dall'Anese, Mingyi Hong, Christopher J. Bay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper presents a distributed approach to performing real-time optimization of large wind farms. Wind turbines in a wind farm typically operate individually to maximize their own performance regardless of the impact of aerodynamic interactions on neighboring turbines. This paper optimizes the overall power produced by a wind farm by formulating and solving a nonconvex optimization problem where the yaw angles are optimized to allow some turbines to operate in misaligned conditions and shape the aerodynamic interactions in a favorable way. The solution of the nonconvex smooth problem is tackled using a proximal primal-dual gradient method, which provably identifies a first-order stationary solution in a global sublinear manner. By adding auxiliary optimization variables for every pair of turbines that are coupled aerodynamically, and properly adding consensus constraints into the underlying problem, a distributed algorithm with turbine-to-turbine message passing is obtained; this allows for turbines to be optimized in parallel using local information rather than information from the whole wind farm. This algorithm is computationally light, as it involves closed-form updates. This approach is demonstrated on a large wind farm with 60 turbines. The results indicate that similar performance can be achieved as with finite-difference gradient-based optimization at a fraction of the computational time and thus approaching real-time control/optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538679265
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2019Jul 12 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
CountryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Funding for the work was provided in part by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Wind Energy Technologies Office. The U.S. Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. The authors are solely responsible for any omission or errors contained herein.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Automatic Control Council.

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