Refining Airfoil Designs: Tailored Modifications for Enhanced Performance in Low Reynolds Number Conditions

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Department of Mechanical & Marine Engineering, Chabahar Maritime University, Chabahar, Iran.

2 Germi Department, Islamic Azad University, Germi, Iran.

3 School of Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC-3000, Australia.

4 Laboratory of Applied Research in Active Controls, Avionics, and AeroServoElasticity LARCASE, ÉTS-École de Technologie Supérieure, Université de Québec, Montréal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada


In the current study, three airfoils—PSU94-097, SD6060, and S2055—were analyzed for their aerodynamic performance across Reynolds numbers (Re) ranging from 50,000 to 500,000, typical for Small Wind Turbine (SWT) blade airfoils. Results indicated that as Re increased, the aerodynamic efficiency of all modified airfoils improved. Optimal thickness-to-camber ratios (t/c) of 1.50-2.25, 2.25-3, and 0.60-1.50 for SD6060, S2055, and PSU94-097 airfoils, respectively, contributed to enhanced efficiency. PSU94-097-modified airfoil demonstrated the highest lift-to-drag ratio (CL/CD) of 151.60 at Re of 500,000. Peak CL/CD values for SD6060-modified and S2055-modified airfoils were 109.87 and 97.13, respectively. PSU94-097-modified, SD6060-modified, and S2055-modified airfoils attained peak lift coefficients (CL) of 1.534, 1.219, and 1.174, respectively. PSU94-097-modified airfoil also showed the highest peak CL across Re ranging from 50,000 to 500,000. Percentage increase in peak CL/CD across Re range of 50,000 to 500,000 was 15.8%, 16.08%, 24.43%, 17.12%, 17.30%, 17.98%, and 20.22% for PSU94-097-modified airfoil; 27.87%, 2.03%, 13.77%, 15.83%, 15.14%, 17.95%, and 17.73% for SD6060-modified airfoil; and 16.70%, 7.11%, 5.77%, 7.25%, 11.40%, 9.99%, and 6.04% for S2055-modified airfoil. In addition to enhancing the aerodynamic efficiency of airfoils and consequently increasing electricity production in wind turbines, optimizing the t/c reduces the material needed for wind turbine construction. This not only lowers the cost but also minimizes environmental impact by using fewer resources. Thus, these modifications are environmentally beneficial, contributing to sustainable development alongside improving wind turbine efficiency.


Main Subjects