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Aerodynamic shape optimization of wind turbine blades using a parallel genetic algorithm

An aerodynamic shape optimization methodology based on Genetic Algorithm and Blade Element Momentum theory is developed for rotor blades of horizontal axis wind turbines Optimization studies are performed for the maximization of power production at a specific wind speed, rotor speed and rotor diameter. The potential flow solver with a boundary layer model, XFOIL, provides sectional aerodynamic loads. The sectional chord length, the sectional twist and the blade profiles at root, mid and tip regions of the blade are taken as design variables. The blade sections may be defined by the NACA four digit airfoil series or by arbitrary airfoil profiles defined by a Bezier curve. The sectional flow computations required by Genetic algorithm, which is inherently parallel, are performed in a parallel computing environment with 512 cores. Message Passage Interface (openMPI), is employed in parallel computations. Validation studies are first performed