7 October 2012

Towards noiseless turbines?

At the IAIA conference in Portugal we hosted a session on Community Responses to New Energy Sources. There were very interesting case studies of wind turbine projects in Australia and in the Netherlands (see the posts of May on this blog).
Wind energy is a constantly growing source of alternative energy worldwide and while it is accepted as green alternative to the usual coal and fossil fuels, local communities are not so supportive of wind parks in their backyard. Indeed deciding where to place wind turbines is a major challenge in the decision making process and one of the complaints often made by local inhabitants is noise.
A recent study reviews recent advances in the area of noise pollution from wind turbines. “To date, there have been many different noise control studies. While there are many different sources of noise, the main one is aerodynamic noise. The largest contributor to aerodynamic noise comes from the trailing edge of wind turbine blades. The aim of this paper is to critically analyse and compare the different methods currently being implemented and investigated to reduce noise production from wind turbines, with a focus on the noise generated from the trailing edge.”
The discussion is not over and community acceptance of new energy will remain a topic at the next conference in Calgary