The aerodynamic performance of wind turbine airfoils with leading edge erosion was investigated in this research. The tests were conducted on DU 96-W-180 wind turbine airfoil at three Reynolds numbers between 1 and 1.85 million and angles of attack spanning the low drag range of the airfoil. The airfoil was tested with simulated leading edge erosion by varying the type and severity of the erosion to determine the loss in performance for the different cases. As a method of leading edge protection of wind turbine blades, the impact of an experimental wind protection tape on the aerodynamic performance of the DU 96-W-180 airfoil was also investigated. The tape was wrapped around the leading edge of the airfoil with different chordwise extents on the upper and lower surfaces. For the taped airfoil cases, the tests were carried out at the same three Reynolds numbers between 1 and 1.85 million, as used for the erosion models. The ultimate aim was to make a comparison between the performance losses due to the use of the WPT and due to leading edge erosion in order to determine the feasibility of using the tape for practical purposes.
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