Simulation of Aeroacoustic Emission For Small Wind Turbines

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Abstract

Noise radiation is in certain countries still a major limitation on the further expansion of wind energy. Until now, the majority of the small wind turbines were sited in sparsely populated areas like open field far from inhabited regions. However, today the tendency exists towards integrating small wind turbines closer to populated areas. Vertical axis wind turbines are even designed to be placed on the roof of buildings. Many of these manufacturers don’t take noisereducing methods into account in their design. One of the reasons that these noise-reducing methods are of secondary interest is because the fabrication process and the total turbine costs are more important since the small wind turbine industry is still not a business based on external financing. However, several research projects were established to investigate noise reduction techniques. When more and more people will intent to supply a part of their own energy need the acceptance of small wind turbines in higher populated areas is an inevitable need. This acceptance can be facilitated by suppression of the acoustic emission. Therefore, the noise reduction must get a higher priority in the design and testing of small wind turbines. Noise reduction due to modification of design parameters can only be established if there is a good understanding of the influence of the different wind turbine geometrical and operational parameters on the noise generation mechanisms. For small wind turbine designers it would be handy to know in advance what a certain wind turbine geometry would mean for the noise production. Customers often have doubts concerning the siting conditions for their wind turbine. Where is the ideal place to position the wind turbine in order to reach maximum performance and safety with the wind turbine, but minimize the visual and acoustic annoyance?