Blade Planform Design Optimization to Enhance Turbine Wake Control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus Citations


This study considers optimizing the planform of wind turbine blades to ultimately enhance wind plant controls, namely, wake steering strategies. Adjoint-enabled unsteady actuator line simulations are carried out to obtain gradients for optimization of several different performance objectives with respect to blade chord length at 10 locations along blade span. We demonstrate different blade design optimizations that can maximize time-averaged lateral wake deflection, entrainment of kinetic energy, or total power of multiple turbines. Our optimized designs can produce a 4+% increase in wake deflection, a 4× increase in vertical kinetic energy entrainment, or a 3.6% increase in power when compared with the baseline case. While lateral wake deflection is only modestly sensitive to chord changes, we find that increasing the outboard chord length can dramatically increase kinetic energy entrainment, resulting in faster wake recovery and gains in net power. While this work develops only a few case studies emphasizing relative performance improvements and general trends, these results show the promise of a framework that combines mid-fidelity computation with adjoint-based optimization for control and design problems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)811-830
Number of pages20
JournalWind Energy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Wind Energy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2C00-78241


  • adjoint optimization
  • blade design
  • wake steering
  • wind plant controls


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