IEA Wind Energy Task 37 System Engineering Aerodynamic Optimization Case Study: Preprint

Michael McWilliam, Katherine Dykes, Frederik Zahle, Pietro Bortolotti, Andrew Ning, Evan Gaertner, Terence Macquart, Karl Merz, Ainara Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents the results from the first IEA Wind Task 37 aerodynamic optimization case study. Eight participants applied their optimization tools to a purely aerodynamic problem and the results were compared. Overall, the different tools produced widely different designs, while there was better agreement in the improvement achieved. This highlights the fact that further investigation is needed to try to understand these differences and develop best practices. There were too many differences between the different analysis and optimization codes to determine the sources of these differences. However, several potential sources of discrepancy were identified for further investigation. One hypothesis is that one potential source of discrepancy is that the design problem itself is relatively flat in design directions of constant loading. This flatness would impact the convergence in the optimization, and at the same time mean that discrepancies in the design itself would be less severe.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages34
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 AIAA SciTech Forum -
Duration: 11 Jan 202121 Jan 2021


Conference2021 AIAA SciTech Forum

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-79423 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-78593


  • aerodynamic optimization
  • IEA
  • system engineering
  • wind energy


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