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Developments of an aero-acoustic tool for noise prediction of wind turbines; validation on new full size wind generators

Noise minimisation is a major issue in the development of particularly large wind turbines. The aero-acoustic tool developed under this project has successfully enabled the prediction of turbine noise and thus provided a very valuable design tool for the development of new, quiet rotor blades.

The number of economically viable sites for wind energy development is decreasing, therefore new sites must be located closer to populated areas. Furthermore, with the aim of new developments being to use remaining sites optimally there is a growing trend towards larger turbines with higher tip speed velocities. Therefore, noise prediction from wind turbines is a key issue as concerns over the noise mean that the siting of wind turbines is often met with public resistance. The objective of this project was to develop a noise prediction tool for use at the design stage to support the development of new, quiet rotor blades. To achieve this it was first necessary to determine the sound sources in the flow field and then study the radiation of propagation of the corresponding waves. For this two basic physical processes needed to be modelled; the low-frequency noise production on the blades as a consequence of the fluctuating pressure and the high-frequency noise production within the wake as a consequence of the spatial vorticity distribution. The problem was first considered in general terms to improve basic understanding of the phenomena. Four JOULE projects tackling different wind turbine noise problems have been promoted, including such issues as noise reduction through appropriate blade design, noise propagation and noise measurement.

Reported by

Universität Stuttgart Institut für Aerodynamik und Gasdynamik
Plaffenwaldring 21
70550 Stuttgart
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