Date of Award

Spring 2014

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Sathya Gangadharan

First Committee Member

Dr. Reda Mankbadi

Second Committee Member

Dr. William Engblom


The thesis focuses on the aspect of optimization of NREL VI wind turbine blade for increased power output using commercial solver ANSYS 14.5. The power curve obtained from BEMT, Baseline NREL VI CFD Simulations and Optimized Blade Simulations are compared with experimental results. Over prediction is observed in the theoretical result while computational analysis under predicts power produced at post stall region. Parameter correlation and sensitivity analysis study relates the effectiveness of design parameters on the objective outcome. Scatter plots and Determination Matrix indicate the problem setup as non-linear quadratic. Adaptive Single Objective Optimization algorithm is used for the optimization process where an intelligent auto refinement of domain spaces searches for a global optimum. Large domain reduction and limited evaluation space due to computational burden restricts the finding of global optimum but 5 best local optimum results are still yielded. Flow visualization and characteristic study display attached flow through the blade span till 7 m/s wind speed. Flow separation at 10 m/s and above is well captured by the boundary layer and pressure coefficient plots agree well with the transition location.