In modern wind turbine blades, airfoils of more than 25% thickness can be found at mid-span and inboard locations. At mid-span, aerodynamic requirements dominate, demanding a high lift-to-drag ratio, moderate to high lift and low roughness sensitivity. Towards the root, structural requirements become more important. In this paper, the performance for the airfoil series DU FFA, S8xx, AH, Risø and NACA are reviewed. For the 25% and 30% thick airfoils, the best performing airfoils can be recognized by a restricted upper-surface thickness and an S-shaped lower surface for aft-loading. Differences in performance of the DU 91-W2-250 (25%), S814 (24%) and Risø-A1-24 (24%) airfoils are small. For a 30% thickness, the DU 97-W-300 meets the requirements best. Reduction of roughness sensitivity can be achieved both by proper design and by application of vortex generators on the upper surface of the airfoil. Maximum lift and lift-to-drag ratio are, in general, enhanced for the rough configuration when vortex generators are used. At inboard locations, 2-D wind tunnel tests do not represent the performance characteristics well because the influence of rotation is not included. The RFOIL code is believed to be capable of approximating the rotational effect. Results from this code indicate that rotational effects dramatically reduce roughness sensitivity effects at inboard locations. In particular, the change in lift characteristics in the case of leading edge roughness for the 35% and 40% thick DU airfoils, DU 00-W-350 and DU 00-W-401, respectively, is remarkable. As a result of the strong reduction of roughness sensitivity, the design for inboard airfoils can primarily focus on high lift and structural demands.

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