Aerodynamic design optimization of wind turbine airfoils under aleatory and epistemic uncertainty

Caboni, M. and Minisci, E. and Riccardi, A. (2018) Aerodynamic design optimization of wind turbine airfoils under aleatory and epistemic uncertainty. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1037 (4). 042011. ISSN 1742-6588 (

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This paper presents different approaches to optimize wind turbine airfoils in an uncertain scenario. The approaches are specifically applied to the aerodynamic design optimization of a wind turbine airfoil accounting for the uncertainty in setting up the XFOIL's NCRIT constant: a parameter that is considered affected by a chain of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty. Subject to a set of aerodynamic and structural constraints, the uncertain response of the airfoil is optimized by means of both probability- and imprecise probability-based approaches. These solutions are compared with a reference airfoil optimized with a conventional design approach, in which the treatment of uncertainty is carried out in a simplistic fashion. Once evaluated in the probabilistic scenario, the airfoil designed with the conventional approach still achieves the largest aerodynamic efficiency mean. This airfoil is however affected by the largest performance sensitivity to NCRIT variations. The airfoils optimized by means of uncertainty-based approaches instead achieve larger performance robustness and reliability than the airfoil optimized with the conventional approach.


Caboni, M., Minisci, E. ORCID logoORCID: and Riccardi, A. ORCID logoORCID:;