Effects of leading-edge protection tape on wind turbine blade performance

Agrim Sareen, Chinmay Sapre, Michael Selig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents results of a study to investigate the impact of using wind protection tape (WPT) to protect the leading edge of wind turbine airfoils from erosion. The tests were conducted on the DU 96-W-180 wind turbine airfoil at three Reynolds numbers between 1 and 1.85 million and angles of attack spanning the low drag range of the airfoil. Tests were run by varying the chordwise extent of the wind protection tape on the upper and lower surface in order to determine the relative impact of each configuration on the aerodynamics of the airfoil. The objective was to assess the performance losses due to the wind protection tape and compare them with losses due to leading-edge erosion in order to determine the potential benefits of using such tape to protect wind turbine blades. Results showed that the application of wind protection tape caused a drag increase of 5-15% for the various configurations tested and was significantly less detrimental to airfoil performance than leading edge erosion that could otherwise occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalWind Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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