In an effort to define the desirable airfoil characteristics for large variable-speed wind turbines, a systematic study was performed using a series of airfoils designed to have similar aerodynamic properties, except for the amount of lift, which varied over a wide range. For several airfoil combinations, blade shapes were designed for a 750-kW wind turbine with a 48.8-m diameter rotor using the optimization code PROPGA together with PROPID, which is an inverse design method for horizontalaxis wind turbines. Roughness effects, including the consideration of dirty-blade performance in the blade-shape optimization process, were also considered and are discussed. The results and conclusions reveal practical design implications that should aid in the aerodynamic blade design of not only large but also other sizes of variable-speed wind turbines.

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