Variable-fidelity shape optimization of dual-rotor wind turbines

Andrew Thelen, Leifur Leifsson*, Anupam Sharma, Slawomir Koziel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Dual-rotor wind turbines (DRWTs) are a novel type of wind turbines that can capture more power than their single-rotor counterparts. Because their surrounding flow fields are complex, evaluating a DRWT design requires accurate predictive simulations, which incur high computational costs. Currently, there does not exist a design optimization framework for DRWTs. Since the design optimization of DRWTs requires numerous model evaluations, the purpose of this paper is to identify computationally efficient design approaches. Design/methodology/approach: Several algorithms are compared for the design optimization of DRWTs. The algorithms vary widely in approaches and include a direct derivative-free method, as well as three surrogate-based optimization methods, two approximation-based approaches and one variable-fidelity approach with coarse discretization low-fidelity models. Findings: The proposed variable-fidelity method required significantly lower computational cost than the derivative-free and approximation-based methods. Large computational savings come from using the time-consuming high-fidelity simulations sparingly and performing the majority of the design space search using the fast variable-fidelity models. Originality/value: Due the complex simulations and the large number of designable parameters, the design of DRWTs require the use of numerical optimization algorithms. This work presents a novel and efficient design optimization framework for DRWTs using computationally intensive simulations and variable-fidelity optimization techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2514-2542
Number of pages29
JournalEngineering Computations (Swansea, Wales)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Other keywords

  • Design optimization
  • Dual-rotor wind turbine
  • RANS
  • Rotor design
  • Variable-fidelity modelling
  • Wind power


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