ECN publication
Integration of airfoil design during the design of new blades
Grasso, F.; Sartori, L.; Bottasso, C.; Croce, A.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 19-9-2013
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-M--13-020 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
10 Download PDF  

Despite the fact that the design of a new blade is a multidisciplinary task, often the different disciplines are combined together at later stage. Looking at the aerodynamic design, it is common practice design/select the airfoils first and then design the blade in terms of chord and twist based on the initial selection of the airfoils. Although this approach is quite diffused, it limits the potentialities of obtaining optimal performance. The present work is focused on investigating the benefits of designing the external shape of the blade including the airfoil shapes together with chord and twist.

To accomplish this, a design approach has been developed, where an advanced gradient based optimization algorithm is able to control the shape of the blade. The airfoils described in the work are the NACA 4 digits, while the chord distribution and the twist distribution are described through Bezier curves. In this way, the complexity of the problem is limited while a versatile geometrical description is kept. After the details of the optimization scheme are illustrated, several numerical examples are shown, demonstrating the advantages in terms of performance and development time of integrating the design of the airfoils during the optimization of the blade.

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