Cost Optimisation – playing dot-to-dot
The layout of an offshore windfarm electrical cable network on the seabed that collects the energy from wind turbines has traditionally been a manual process
Kinewell Energy has identified that optimising this process using sophisticated software tools can yield considerable capital and operational savings over the lifetime of the windfarm.
Developing a usable tool that achieves this is not without significant challenges. The optimisation should consider a whole host of variables including substation locations, cable cross-sectional area and costs, system losses and resilience.
However, Kinewell Energy have developed a software solution, called KLOC, that can deliver an optimisation considering all these variables. Due to its bespoke algorithms, KLOC can consider billions of possible layouts and quickly refine the options to produce an optimised inter-array cable layout.
Case study – Gwynt-y-Mor offshore windfarm
The KLOC software was initially launched to the industry in November 2015 with a case study of the Gwynt-y-Mor offshore windfarm. The case study showed savings of £2.2m over the lifetime of the windfarm which was equivalent to 3% of the installed cable cost for the windfarm.
The software is continually being improved; today the software typically finds added value in the region of 20% of cable system CAPEX. A recent study was commissioned by a major European offshore wind developer to re-analyse the inter-array cable system of one off their offshore windfarms.
The study demonstrated that some flexibility in turbine layout, asset crossings, cable type selection, substation positioning, and export cable routing are key to achieving further optimized CAPEX and added revenues through reduced transmission losses.
Considerable international interest
These results are generating considerable interest in, and the use of, the KLOC software internationally within the offshore wind sector. Furthermore, the software has been Highly Commended by the IET Innovation Awards. Following client requests, Kinewell Energy now offers the software not only as a consultancy tool but also in a licensed format allowing clients to utilise the KLOC software in-house.
In addition, to the offshore windfarm application, the company also see use for the software in other sectors such as the development of onshore windfarms, solar farms, wave and tidal energy. Furthermore, the development of floating offshore wind is going to increase the relevance and importance of a flexible, fast and industry proven tool that delivers real savings and supports developers in delivering zero carbon energy generation.