When upscaling wind turbine blades there is an increasing need for high levels of structural efficiency. In this paper the relationships between the aerodynamic characteristics; design lift and lift-drag ratio; and the structural characteristics were investigated. Using a unified optimization setup, airfoils were designed with relative thicknesses between 18% and 36%, a structural box height of 85% of the relative thickness, and varying box widths in chordwise direction between 20% and 40% of the chord length. The results from these airfoil designs showed that for a given flapwise stiffness, the design lift coefficient increases if the box length reduces and at the same time the relative thickness increases. Even though the conclusions are specific to the airfoil design approach used, the study indicated that an increased design lift required slightly higher relative thickness compared to airfoils with lower design lift to maintain the flapwise stiffness. Also, the study indicated that the lift-drag ratio as a function of flapwise stiffness was relatively independent of the airfoil design with a tendency that the lift-drag ratio decreased for large box lengths. The above conclusions were supported by an analysis of the three airfoil families Riso-C2, DU and FFA, where the lift-drag ratio as a function of flapwise stiffness was decreasing, but relatively independent of the airfoil design, and the design lift coefficient was varying depending on the design philosophy. To make the analysis complete also design lift and lift- drag ratio as a function of edgewise and torsional stiffness were shown.
Journal of Physics: Conference Series (online), 2014, Vol 524
Main Research Area:
5th International Conference on The Science of Making Torque from Wind 2014European Academy of Wind Energy : The Science of Making Torque from Wind