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CFD Analysis on Aerodynamic Design Optimization of Wind Turbine Rotor Blades

Authors: R.S. Amano, R.J. Malloy


Wind energy has been shown to be one of the most viable sources of renewable energy. With current technology, the low cost of wind energy is competitive with more conventional sources of energy such as coal. Most blades available for commercial grade wind turbines incorporate a straight span-wise profile and airfoil shaped cross sections. These blades are found to be very efficient at lower wind speeds in comparison to the potential energy that can be extracted. However as the oncoming wind speed increases the efficiency of the blades decreases as they approach a stall point. This paper explores the possibility of increasing the efficiency of the blades at higher wind speeds while maintaining efficiency at the lower wind speeds. The design intends to maintain efficiency at lower wind speeds by selecting the appropriate orientation and size of the airfoil cross sections based on a low oncoming wind speed and given constant rotation rate. The blades will be made more efficient at higher wind speeds by implementing a swept blade profile. Performance was investigated using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Keywords: CFD, wind turbine blade, renewable energy.

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