Roughness Sensitivity Considerations for Thick Rotor Blade Airfoils

  • van Rooij R
  • Timmer W
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In modern wind turbine blades airfoils of more than 25% thickness can be found at mid-span and inboard locations. In particular at mid-span aerodynamic requirements dominate, demanding a high lift-to-drag ratio, moderate to high lift and low roughness sensitivity. Towards the root structural requirements become more important. In this paper the performance for the airfoil series DU, FFA, S8xx, AH, Risø and NACA are reviewed. For the 25% and 30% thick airfoils the best performing airfoils can be recognized by a restricted upper surface thickness and a S-shaped lower surface for aft-loading. Differences in performance of the DU 91-W2-250 (25%), S814 (24%) and Risø-A1-24 (24%) airfoil are small. For a 30% thickness the DU 97-W-300 meets the requirements best. At inboard locations the influence of rotation can be significant and 2d wind tunnel tests do not represent the characteristics well. The RFOIL code is believed to be capable of approximating the rotational effect. In particular the change in lift characteristics in the case of leading edge roughness for the 35% and 40% thick DU airfoils, respectively DU 00-W-350 and DU 00-W-401, is remarkable. Due to the strong reduction of roughness sensitivity the design for inboard airfoils could primarily focus on high lift and structural demands.

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  • R. P. J. O. M. van Rooij

  • W. A. Timmer

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