ECN publication
Design and Optimization of Tidal Turbine Airfoil
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Wind Energy 13-3-2012
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-W--12-008 Article (scientific)
Number of pages:

Published in: Journal of Aircraft (AIAA), , 2012, Vol.49, p.636-643.

To increase the ratio of energy capture to the loading and, thereby, to reduce cost of energy, the use of specially tailored airfoils is needed. This work is focused on the design of an airfoil for marine application. Firstly, the requirements for this class of airfoils are illustrated and discussed with reference to the requirements for wind turbine airfoils. Then, the design approach is presented. This is a numerical optimization scheme in which a gradientbased algorithm is used, coupled with the RFOIL solver and a composite Bezier geometrical parameterization. A particularly sensitive point is the choice and implementation of constraints. Asection of the present work is dedicated to address this point; particular importance is given to the cavitation phenomenon. Finally, a numerical example regarding the design of a high-efficiency hydrofoil is illustrated, and the results are compared with existing turbine airfoils, considering also the effect on turbine performance due to different airfoils.

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