Performance-optimized airfoil for Darrieus wind turbines


An URANS CFD model for Darrieus wind turbines is developed and validated.

An optimization routine to increase performance of the wind turbine is implemented.

The rotor performance are increased with respect to the baseline configuration.

The optimized airfoil is analyzed with respect to steady and dynamic conditions.

The optimized airfoil is characterized by higher lift coefficients than NACA 0018.


An optimization method, featuring a loop algorithm which includes a genetic optimizer, a two-dimensional URANS CFD model, a fitness calculator and an airfoil generator, is created and deployed to develop a new airfoil shape which can possibly increase the aerodynamic performance of a Darrieus wind turbine. The two-dimensional URANS CFD model is validated against a baseline Darrieus rotor, whose experimental data are available in literature. The optimization included as initial solutions the most common airfoils described in literature and is targeted to increase the aerodynamic performance of the two-dimensional model of the baseline rotor at fixed wind and rotational speeds. The optimization resulted in a new airfoil shape showing a particular configuration of mean line and thickness distribution. The airfoil aerodynamics is analyzed by estimating the aerodynamic coefficients and pressure distributions at different operative conditions.


  • Vertical axis wind turbine;
  • Airfoil aerodynamics;
  • Genetic optimization;

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