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ECN publication
Usage of Numerical Optimization in Wind Turbine Airfoil Design
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 12-7-2010
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--10-048 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
19 Download PDF  

Presented at: 28th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, Chicago, USA, 28 juni 2010-1 juli 2010.

One important key element in the aerodynamic design of wind turbines is the use of specially tailored airfoils to increase the ratio of energy capture to the loading and thereby to reduce cost of energy. This work is focused on the design of wind turbine airfoil by using numerical optimization. Firstly, the requirements for this class of airfoils are illustrated and discussed in order to have an exhaustive outline of the complexity of the problem. Then, the optimization approach is presented; a gradient based algorithm is used, coupled with RFOIL solver and a composite Bezier geometrical parameterization. A particularly sensitive point is the choice and implementation of constraints; in order to formalize in the most complete and effective way the design requirements, the effects of activating specific constraints are discussed. Finally, a numerical example regarding the design of a high efficiency airfoil for the outer part of a blade is illustrated and the results are compared with existing wind turbine airfoils.

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