Adjoint-Based High-Fidelity Concurrent Aerodynamic Design Optimization of Wind Turbine

Sagidolla Batay, Bagdaulet Kamalov, Dinmukhamed Zhangaskanov, Yong Zhao, Dongming Wei, Tongming Zhou, Xiaohui Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate novel turbine designs, the wind energy sector extensively depends on computational fluid dynamics (CFD). To use CFD in the design optimization process, where lower-fidelity approaches such as blade element momentum (BEM) are more popular, new tools to increase the accuracy must be developed as the latest wind turbines are larger and the aerodynamics and structural dynamics become more complex. In the present study, a new concurrent aerodynamic shape optimization approach towards multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) that uses a Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes solver in conjunction with a numerical optimization methodology is introduced. A multidisciplinary design optimization tool called DAFoam is used for the NREL phase VI turbine as a baseline geometry. Aerodynamic design optimizations in terms of five different schemes, namely, cross-sectional shape, pitch angle, twist, chord length, and dihedral optimization are conducted. Pointwise, a commercial mesh generator is used to create the numerical meshes. As the adjoint approach is strongly reliant on the mesh quality, up to 17.8 million mesh cells were employed during the mesh convergence and result validation processes, whereas 2.65 million mesh cells were used throughout the design optimization due to the computational cost. The Sparse Nonlinear OPTimizer (SNOPT) is used for the optimization process in the adjoint solver. The torque in the tangential direction is the optimization’s merit function and excellent results are achieved, which shows the promising prospect of applying this approach for transient MDO. This work represents the first attempt to implement DAFoam for wind turbine aerodynamic design optimization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Number of pages23
Issue number3
Early online date28 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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