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Robust aerodynamic design of variable speed wind turbine rotors

Minisci, Edmondo and Campobasso, Michele Sergio and Vasile, Massimiliano (2012) Robust aerodynamic design of variable speed wind turbine rotors. In: ASME Turbo Expo 2012 Technical Conference, 2012-06-11 - 2012-06-15.

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Abstract

This study focuses on the robust aerodynamic design of the bladed rotor of small horizontal axis wind turbines. The optimization process also considers the effects of manufacturing and assembly tolerances on the yearly energy production. The aerodynamic performance of the rotors so designed has reduced sensitivity to manufacturing and assembly errors. The geometric uncertainty affecting the rotor shape is represented by normal distributions of the pitch angle of the blades, and the twist angle and chord of their airfoils. The aerodynamic module is a blade element momentum theory code. Both Monte Carlo-based and the Univariate ReducedQuadrature technique, a novel deterministic uncertainty propagationmethod, are used. The performance of the two approaches is assessed both interms of accuracy and computational speed. The adopted optimization method is based on a hybrid multi-objective evolutionary strategy. The presented results highlight that the sensitivity of the yearly production to geometric uncertainties can be reduced by reducing the rotational speed and increasing the aerodynamic blade loads.