Small wind turbines are gaining popularity due to their ability to meet community or domestic needs in isolated areas with relatively easier installation and lower cost than large wind turbines. This study looks at optimizing airfoils for use in small horizontal axis wind turbines. The optimization looks to maximize the lift coefficient (Cl) while minimizing or fixing the drag coefficient (Cd). To satisfy these two objectives a multi–objective genetic algorithm is used. The airfoil is parameterized using a composite Bezier curve with two Bezier segments and 11 control points. Appropriate curvature conditions are implemented at the leading and trailing edge of the airfoil and geometric constraints are applied to maintain the maximum thickness between 8% to 14% of the chord for structural reasons. An existing genetic algorithm (GA) code is modified in C++ to generate suitable airfoils using the 13 control points and pass the coordinates to a solver for analysis. As a result four new airfoils are generated for application in low Reynolds number (Re) flow. The characteristics and suitability of the four airfoils are discussed while comparing them to the popular SG6043 airfoil.

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