An optimization code for the design of horizontal-axis wind and hydrokinetic turbines.

by Danny C. Sale

HARP_Opt (Horizontal Axis Rotor Performance Optimization) utilizes a multiple-objective genetic algorithm and blade-element momentum (BEM) theory flow model to design horizontal-axis wind and hydrokinetic turbine rotors.

Genetic algorithms solve optimization problems by mimicking the principles of biological evolution. Using rules modeled on biological reproduction and gene modification, genetic algorithms repeatedly modify a population of individuals to create subsequent generations of "superior" individuals. HARP_Opt utilizes the MATLAB® Genetic Algorithm solver to perform this optimization, and the WT_Perf BEM theory code to predict rotor performance metrics.

HARP_Opt optimizes a rotor's performance for steady and uniform flows (no sheared or yawed flows). A variety of rotor control configurations can be designed using HARP_Opt, including fixed or variable rotor speed and fixed or variable blade pitch configurations. Blades with circular or non-circular roots can be designed using HARP_Opt.

HARP_Opt can function as a single- or multiple-objective optimization code. The primary optimization objective is to maximize the turbine's annual energy production (AEP). Annual energy production is calculated using a Rayleigh, Weibull, or user-defined flow distribution. Maximum power is bounded, and maximum power point tracking (MPPT) is a combined objective with AEP. For hydrokinetic turbines, additional constraints are defined such that cavitation will not occur. An additional objective can be activated, in which HARP_Opt performs a structural optimization to minimize the blade mass. For the structural analysis, the blade is modeled as a thin shell of bulk isotropic material, and the blade mass is minimized using a maximum allowable strain as the constraint. Maximizing energy production and minimizing blade mass are conflicting objectives, thus HARP_Opt will identify the set of Pareto optimal solutions. To meet these objectives, HARP_Opt calculates the optimal blade shape (twist, chord, and airfoil/hydrofoil distributions) and optimal control of the rotor speed and blade pitch.

The HARP_Opt code is designed to be user friendly, and is operated using a graphical-user-interface (GUI) and easy to manipulate text input files. Output from the HARP_Opt code is summarized in automatically generated Excel spreadsheets and text files.

The HARP_Opt project was funded by DOE's Marine Hydro-Kinetic Program at NREL. Much of the work was done at NREL and the University of Tennessee with oversight and guidance by Robert Thresher, Al LiVecchi, Ye Li, Scott Hughes, Jason Jonkman, David Maniaci, and Marshall Buhl.

You may download the following files from our server:

  • HARP_Opt Change Log (v2.00.00, 13 KB, 28-June-2010)

    This is a list of changes made to the code. Look at this text file to see if any worthwhile changes have been made since you received your previous version of HARP_Opt.

  • HARP_Opt User's Guide (v2.00.00, 718 KB, 28-June-2010)

    This is a draft of the HARP_Opt user's guide. Please refer to it when trying to understand how to use the program. 

  • HARP_Opt Archive (v2.00.00, 6.8 MB, 13-July-2010)

    This is a self-extracting archive of HARP_Opt. It contains the HARP_Opt executable file, sample input and output files, change log, user's guide, and source code. Currently, HARP_Opt is only supported for Windows operating systems.

  • MATLAB® Compiler Runtime Installer [Win32] (v7.09, 270.5 MB, 18-September-2008)

    If you do not own MATLAB you can use the compiled version of HARP_Opt. To run the compiled version of HARP_Opt, you will need to first install the MATLAB Component Runtime (MCR). The MCR is a standalone set of shared libraries that enable the execution of MATLAB scripts on computers without an installed version of MATLAB and associated licensing. The MCR only needs to be installed once.

  • HARP_Opt Theory Manual

    Work on a detailed theory manual is currently in progress and will be made available in the near future.

Programming Language:     Technology:     Wind and Water Tools:

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If you want to refer to this website in a report, here is a reference you can use:
NWTC Information Portal (HARP_Opt).  https://nwtc.nrel.gov/HARP_Opt. Last modified 28-September-2014 ; Accessed 23-February-2017