The optimal aerodynamic design of Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine (HAWT) is investigated. The Blade-element/Momentum model is used for the aerodynamic analysis. In the first part of the paper a simple design method is derived, where the turbine blade is optimized for operation at a specific wind speed. Results of this simple optimization are presented and discussed. Besides being optimized for operation at a specific wind speed, without considering operation at other wind speeds, the simple model is also limited in the choice of design goals (cost functions), design variables and constraints. In the second part of the paper a comprehensive design method that is based on a mixed numerical optimization strategy, is presented. This method can handle almost any combination of: design goal, design variables, and constraints. Results of this method are presented, compared with the results of the simple optimization, and discussed.

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