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Heuristic algorithm for the problem of vessel routing optimisation for offshore wind farms

Dawid, Rafael and McMillan, David and Revie, Matthew (2018) Heuristic algorithm for the problem of vessel routing optimisation for offshore wind farms. The Journal of Engineering, 2017 (13). 1159–1163.

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Abstract

A new heuristic method is proposed for the problem of vessel routing optimisation for offshore wind farms. Turbines requiring a maintenance action are arranged into clusters, each associated with a vessel and a value for repairing the turbines. The clusters with the highest value are used to produce offspring, which is selected from the remaining high-value clusters, provided the constraints are met. The process is repeated until vessels available or turbines requiring maintenance are exhausted. To test the performance of the proposed approach, the same problem was formulated as integer linear programming problem and benchmarked against the IBM CPLEX commercial solver. The proposed method was shown to consistently produce close-to-optimal policies within seconds, even in problems with 15–20 turbines requiring a maintenance action. Although the proposed method only outperformed the commercial solver in one instance, its benefits include short and consistent computational times and the fact that the users can easily understand, implement and adapt the algorithm to suit their needs.