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A Feasibility Study to Reduce Infrasound Emissions from Existing Wind Turbine Blades Using a Biomimetic Technique

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Wenxian YangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Infrasound, i.e., low‐frequency noise in the frequency range of 10–200 Hz, produced by rotating wind turbine blades has become a matter of concern because it is harmful to human health. Today, with the rapid increase of wind turbine size, this kind of noise is more worrying than ever. Although much effort has been made to design quiet wind turbine blades, today there is still a lack of effective techniques to reduce infrasound emissions from existing blades. To fill this gap in technology, a biomimetic technique that can be readily applied to reduce infrasound emissions of existing wind turbine blades is studied in this paper using both numerical simulation and experimental testing approaches. The numerical study of the technique is based on the analysis of the sound field distribution near the blade, which is derived by performing both aerodynamic and acoustic simulations of the blade. The experimental study of the technique is based on laboratory tests of two scale models of the blade. Both numerical and experimental studies have shown that the shedding vortices behind the blade can be successfully suppressed by semi‐cylindrical rings wrapped on the blade. Consequently, both infrasound and the overall sound pressure level of the noise produced by the blade are significantly reduced. Although the rings fail to show good performance in reducing high‐frequency noise, it is not a problem for human health because high‐frequency noise is weak and moreover it attenuates rapidly as distance increases. The research also showed that the proposed technique can, not only reduce the infrasound produced by the blade, but can also improve the power coefficient of wind turbines.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lv J, Yang W, Zhang H, Liao D, Ren Z, Chen Q

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energies

Year: 2021

Volume: 14

Issue: 16

Pages: 1-18

Online publication date: 11/08/2021

Acceptance date: 06/08/2021

Date deposited: 11/08/2021

ISSN (electronic): 1996-1073

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/en14164923


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