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Trailing edge noise reduction of wind turbine blades by active flow control



In the current study, we investigate a route to reduction of the turbulent boundary layer–trailing edge interaction noise. The trailing edge noise is generated by surface pressure fluctuations beneath a turbulent boundary and scattered at the trailing edge of wind turbine blades. Trailing edge noise is considered to be the dominant noise source of modern wind turbines. Therefore, efforts are constantly made to attenuate the noise. Today, noise emission can be reduced by proper airfoil design or passive devices, such as trailing edge serrations. A further improved candidate technology for trailing edge noise attenuation is active flow control in the form of wall-normal suction. With active flow control, the boundary layer features responsible for trailing edge noise generation can be manipulated, and correspondingly the trailing edge noise can be reduced. Detailed experimental investigations were performed at the Universities of Tel-Aviv and Stuttgart. The tests showed that steady wall-normal suction has a positive effect on the trailing edge noise by reducing the boundary layer thickness, and with it the integral length scales of the eddies within the boundary layer. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.