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  Airfoils for wind turbines have been selected by comparing data from
different wind tunnels, tested under different conditions.  This makes
it difficult to make accurate comparisons.  Most wind tunnel data sets
do not contain airfoil performance in stall, which is commonly
experienced by turbines operating in the field.  Wind turbines are often
roughened by soiling, for which there is very little data.  Finally, recent
tests have shown that dynamic stall is a common occurrence for most
wind turbines operating in yawed, stalled, or turbulent conditions. 
Little dynamic stall data exists for the airfoils of interest to a wind
turbine designer.  In summary, very little airfoil performance data exits
that is appropriate for wind turbine design.

Recognizing the need for a wind turbine airfoil performance data base,
the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), funded by the U.S.
Department of Energy, awarded a contract to Ohio State University
(OSU) to conduct a wind-tunnel test program.  Under this program,
OSU tested a series of popular wind-turbine airfoils.  A standard test
matrix was developed to assure that each airfoil was tested under the
same conditions.  The test matrix was developed in partnership with
industry and is intended to include all of the operating conditions
experienced by wind turbines.  These conditions include airfoil
performance at high angles of attack, rough leading edges (bug
simulation), and steady and unsteady angles of attack.

Special care has been taken to report as much of the test conditions
and raw data as practical so that designers can make their own
comparisons and focus on details of the data relevant to their design
goals.  Some of the airfoil coordinates are proprietary to industry
partners.  To protect the information that defines the exact shape
shape of the airfoil, the coordinates have not been included in the
report for non-NREL airfoils.  You may obtain the coordinates for NREL
airfoils by clicking on the Airfoil Shapes link in the menu on the left.

This page was last updated by M. Buhl on 6-July-2012.

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