25 May 2021

25 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Experimental study of the effect of a slat on the aerodynamic performance of a thick base airfoil

Axelle Viré, Bruce LeBlanc, Julia Steiner, and Nando Timmer Axelle Viré et al.
  • Wind Energy Section, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract. There is continuous effort to try and improve the aerodynamic performance of wind turbine blades. This experimental study focusses on the addition of a passive slat on a thick airfoil typically used in the inboard part of commercial wind turbine blades. Nine different slat configurations are considered, with both a clean and tripped main airfoil. The results are compared with the performances of the airfoil without slat, as well as the airfoil equipped with vortex generators. It is found that, when the airfoil is clean, the increase in lift-to-drag ratio due to the presence of a slat is larger than when vortex generators are used. This is also true for the tripped airfoil, but only at small angles of attack. As expected, in all configurations, the presence of the slat delays flow separation and stall. Finally, for a clean airfoil and small angles of attack, the slat decreases the lift-to-drag ratio of the main airfoil only. By contrast, as the angle of attack increases, it seems that the slat changes the flow field around the main airfoil in such a way that its lift-to-drag ratio becomes larger than for the airfoil without slat. These effects are less pronounced when the airfoil is tripped. This work helps to better understand the role of slat in improving the aerodynamics of blade sections. It can also be used to validate simulation tools in the field.

Axelle Viré et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-49', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Aug 2021 reply

Axelle Viré et al.

Data sets

ABIBA Airfoil and Slat Measurement Data B. LeBlanc, A. Viré, J. Steiner, N. Timmer, E. Langedijk, S. Bernardy

Axelle Viré et al.


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Short summary
There is continuous effort to try and improve the aerodynamic performance of wind turbine blades. This work shows that adding a leading-edge slat to wind turbine blades can significantly enhance the aerodynamic performance of wind turbines, even more than with vortex generators (which are commonly used on commercial turbines). The findings are obtained through wind tunnel tests on different airfoil-slat combinations.