NREL Airfoil Families for HAWTs

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    The development of special-purpose airfoils for horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs) began in 1984 as a joint effort between the National Renewble Energy Laboratory (NREL), formerly the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI), and Airfoils, Incorporated. Since that time nine airfoils familiies have been designed for various size rotors using the Eppler Airfoild Design and Analysis Code. A generalperformance requirement of the new airfoil families is that they exhibit a maximum lift coefficient (c1,max) which is relatively insensitive to roughness effects. The airfoil families address the needs of stall-regulated, variable-pitch, and variable-rpm wind turbines. For stall-regulated rotors, better peak-power control is achieved through the design of tip airfoils that restrain the maximumlift coefficient. Restrained maximum lift coefficient allows the use of more swept disc area for a given generator size. Also, for stall-regulated rotors, tip airfoils with high thickness are used to accommodate overspeed control devices. For variable-pitch and variable-rpm rotors, tip airfoils having a high maximum lift coefficient lend themselves to lightweight blades with low solidity. Tipenergy improvements from the NREL airfoil families are projected to be 23% to 35% for stall-regulated turbines, 8% o 20% for variable-pitch turbines, and 8% to 10% for variable-rpm turbines. The improvement for stall-regulated turbines has been verified in field tests.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages11
    StatePublished - 1996
    EventIEA Joint Action Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines 9th Symposium - Stockholm, Sweden
    Duration: 11 Dec 199512 Dec 1995


    ConferenceIEA Joint Action Aerodynamics of Wind Turbines 9th Symposium
    CityStockholm, Sweden

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-23353


    Dive into the research topics of 'NREL Airfoil Families for HAWTs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this