Induced stalled flow due to roughness sensitivity for thick airfoils in modern wind turbines

R. Gutiérrez*, E. Llorente, D. Ragni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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The mid-span region of wind turbine blades can be thickened to fulfil the structural requirements of the blade. Hence, thick airfoils, that were designed to operate at the root region of the blade, are moved to the mid-span region. This could not imply remarkable variations of the blade performance once its surface is smooth. However, the sensitivity of thick airfoils to roughness could cause significant aerodynamic impacts such as flow separation. This research aims to quantify the impact of the blade thickness, under smooth and rough conditions, in the annual energy production and the fatigue loads of the blade. Ten blade designs, linearly interpolated in thickness, are studied employing aero-elastic computations. The results reveal that the thickest blade increases the annual energy production by 5% with respect to the thinnest blade under rough conditions. Whereas this increase is less than 1% under smooth conditions. The loss of annual energy production varies with the blade thickness linearly for thin blades while it varies exponentially for thick blades up to 22%. Fatigue loads assessment confirmed a reduction of the damage equivalent load under smooth conditions, whereas the thickest blade increased it 28% under rough conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012001
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventWindEurope Electric City 2021 Conference - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 23 Nov 202125 Nov 2021


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