Application of a genetic algorithm to wind turbine design

M. S. Selig, V. L. Coverstone-Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an optimization method for stall-regulated horizontal-axis wind turbines. A hybrid approach is used that combines the advantages of a genetic algorithm with an inverse design method. This method is used to determine the optimum blade pitch and blade chord and twist distributions that maximize the annual energy production. To illustrate the method, a family of 25 wind turbines was designed to examine the sensitivity of annual energy production to changes in the rotor blade length and peak rotor power. Trends are revealed that should aid in the design of new rotors for existing turbines. In the second application, five wind turbines were designed to determine the benefits of specifically tailoring wind turbine blades for the average wind speed at a particular site. The results have important practical implications related to rotors designed for the Midwestern US versus those where the average wind speed may be greater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Energy Resources Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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