- website of the Acoustic Ecology Institute
newsCommunityResourcesSoundscapesAbout UsJoin Us
aeinews Home

Australian university seeking ways to quiet blade noise in wind turbines

Science, Wind turbines Add comments

A new research program at the University of Adelaide aims to learn more about the complex physical dynamics that create the primary noise in large wind turbines: the air turbulence off the trailing edges of the huge blades, which turn at speeds of up to a hundred miles per hour at their tips.

As explained in an article in AdelaideNow:

“If we can understand this fundamental science, we can then look at ways of controlling the noise, through changing the shape of the rotor blades or using active control devices at the blade edges to disrupt the pattern of turbulence,” said research leader Dr Con Doolan.

“Wind turbine noise is very directional. Someone living at the base might not have a problem but two kilometres away, it might be keeping them awake at night,” Dr Doolan said. “Likewise this broadband `hissing’ noise modulates up and down as the blades rotate and we think that’s what makes it so annoying.

“Wind turbine noise is controversial but there’s no doubt that there is noise and that it seems to be more annoying than other types of noise at the same level. Finding ways of controlling and reducing this noise will help us make the most of this very effective means of generating large amounts of electricity with next to zero carbon emissions.”

Further coverage is available from UPI.

Leave a Reply