In the course of increasing efficiency of today’s energy production, the rotor diameters of modern wind turbines become increasingly larger. In order to reduce the accompanied higher mass and costs, very thick airfoils are chosen for the inner rotor segment. In some cases, so-called flatback airfoils with a blunt trailing edge are used.
The project IndiAnaWind is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Within the project the scientists of the DLR-Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology develop airfoils with high relative thickness, which stand out due to high aerodynamic efficiency and low aeroacoustic emission. Furthermore, the aerodynamic performance of existing thick airfoils is improved by appropriate design features. During the project, the scientists expand their numerical simulation and design capabilities for the aerodynamics and noise generation of thick airfoils. High-quality, scale-resolved simulation tools are used to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying fluid physics. The aerodynamics and aeroacustics of the airfoils designed by DLR will be investigated subsequently in the DNW-NWB wind tunnel. The results are used both to verify the DLR design and as a basis for further improvement of the calculation methods.