How can wind turbines be made more quiet?



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    Researchers from the University of Twente (Netherlands) think they have discovered a way to make the characteristic whooshing sound created by the blades of wind turbines quieter. 

    Stefan Oerlemans, from the University of Twente and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) was doing research on the flight of owls because they have an almost completely silent flight.  He found that they have a row of soft down feathers on the back end of their wings that greatly reduces any sound that they would make when flying.  Using this as inspiration he developed the idea that a row of bristles on the back end of the turbine’s blades could achieve the same quieting effect. 

    Initial testing has shown that this could be an effective way to reduce the unwanted sound that comes hand-in-hand with the green power source.  In some trials it reduced the sound by as much as 50%!  Additional tests need to be conducted to clarify the initial findings but it is likely that this method will prove quite effective.    

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