Genetic algorithm based aerodynamic shape optimization of wind turbine rotor blades using a 2-d panel method with a boundary layer solver

Polat, Özge
This thesis presents an aerodynamic shape optimization methodology for rotor blades of horizontal axis wind turbines. Genetic Algorithm and Blade Element Momentum Theory are implemented in order to find maximum power production at a specific wind speed, rotor speed and rotor diameter. The potential flow solver, XFOIL, provides viscous aerodynamic data of the airfoils. Optimization variables are selected as the sectional chord length, the sectional twist and the blade profiles at root, mid and tip regions of the blade. The blade sections are defined by the NACA four digit airfoil series or arbitrary airfoil profiles defined by a Bezier curve. Firstly, validation studies are performed with the airfoils and the wind turbines having experimental data. Then, optimization studies are performed on the existing wind turbines. Finally, design optimization applications are carried out for a 1 MWwind turbine.