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Predicting Broadband Noise in Wind Turbines
Posted Wed March 14, 2012 @09:10AM
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Application Innovative Technology Applications Company, LLC is using numerical simulation to examine the flow around wind turbines and accurately identify the acoustic field sources that are associated with the unsteady fluid behavior.

In 2010, global wind power installations increased by 22%, according to the most recent information available from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), an international representative forum for the wind energy sector.

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This added capacity represents investments worth $65 billion, according to that same report. In addition, a number of factors are combining to virtually guarantee interest in more “environmentally friendly” methods of power generation will continue to grow in the coming years, such as rising oil prices, political turmoil in the Middle East, and the recent Fukushima nuclear accident.

One of the challenges for this burgeoning industry is finding ways of reducing the noise created by large wind turbines, especially as more and more are being built near densely populated areas.

“The objective is to avoid a negative impact wherever possible, but physically testing these machines is not economically feasible,” says Christopher C. Nelson, Ph.D., the chief scientist at Innovative Technology Applications Company, LLC (ITAC). “A lot of times, you build the machine, operate it, and then realize that there’s a bad whine. It may be far from a populated area today, but it will save time and money in the future if we start building quieter wind turbines before they become an issue."

Read the full case study from Tecplot, Inc.

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