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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 19, 2013 9:49 AM Flag

    Shhhh! New Low Noise Wind Turbine Blades Designed By GE

    Shhhh! New Low Noise Wind Turbine Blades Designed By GE

    Published on August 19th, 2013 | by Tina Casey

    Forget about building a better mousetrap, if you could build a noise-free wind turbine the world will beat a path to your door. That’s not only on account of the annoyance factor, it’s because wind turbine noise can be a significant impediment to greater efficiency. GE has been tackling the problem head on in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, and the company has just announced a new design model for wind turbine blades that could result in a two percent increase in output.

    That might sound like small potatoes, but consider that according to GE, about 240 gigawatts worth of new wind turbines are set to be installed over the next five years, so any small increase in efficiency is going to translate into a big difference worldwide.

    Wind Turbine Noise

    In terms of the annoyance factor, wind turbine noise can be highly subjective. In 1985, for example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory undertook a study of noise complaints regarding the experimental DOE/NASA MOD-1 wind turbine in North Carolina.

    Of more than 1,000 families living within three kilometers of the turbine, only about 12 reported noise complaints, but the investigation did reveal a probable design flaw leading to generation of a “thumping” phenomenon that could carry over distance.

    While there is nothing subjective about measuring wind turbine power output, it is linked to wind turbine noise. Specifically, the aerodynamic noise created by the blades is the most significant source of noise from advanced wind turbines. With the right design approach, a quiet blade will be a more efficient blade, too.

    GE works on new design to lower wind turbine noise.
    Large Eddy Simulation courtesy of GE.

    Building A Quieter Wind Turbine Blade

    GE Global Research is the arm of the company involved in the project, which at its current state of progress involves using sophisticated engineering model

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