Applied Energy, Vol.185, 1100-1108, 2017
Computational assessment of the DeepWind aerodynamic performance with different blade and airfoil configurations
An aerodynamic improvement of the DeepWind rotor is conducted adopting different rotor geometries and solutions with respect to the original configuration while keeping the comparison as fair as possible. The objective of this work is to find the most suitable configuration in order to maximize the power production and minimize the blade stress and the cost of energy. Different parameters are considered for the study. The DeepWind blade is characterized by a shape similar to the Troposkien geometry but asymmetric between the top and bottom parts. The blade shape is considered as a fixed parameter in the optimization process and, because of different blade element radii, it will experience different tip speed ratios in the same operational condition. This leads to a complex optimization problem, which must be carefully analyzed in order to find the most suitable parameter set. The number of blades in the analysis is varied from 1 to 4. In order to keep the comparison fair among the different configurations, the solidity is kept constant and, therefore, the chord length reduced. A second comparison is conducted by considering different blade profiles belonging to the symmetric NACA airfoil family. Finally, a chord optimization along the blade span is conducted, in order to find the optimal chord distribution to maximize the power production. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.