Get access

On the use of a linear microphone array to measure wind turbine aerodynamic noise


M. Genescà, Acoustical and Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Colom 11, 0822 Terassa, Spain.


A linear microphone array is shown to be a simple tool to locate aerodynamic sound sources on a horizontal axis wind turbine. This paper discusses the capabilities and limitations of a linear microphone array to locate sound sources and measure aerodynamic noise on the blades of a horizontal axis wind turbine rotor. Compared with a planar microphone array, a linear array requires fewer microphones to achieve the same resolution, a simpler structure to support it and a simpler signal processing algorithm. For a linear array, areas exist in the rotor plane where the sources cannot be located unambiguously. For certain applications, it is not necessary to map the whole rotor plane. This paper also shows the result of an experimental test aimed at locating and measuring aerodynamic sound sources on the three blades of a wind turbine. Each blade received a different surface treatment, with the goal of comparing their relative sound emission levels. The test was carried out with a 10.32 m linear microphone array, placed horizontally near the ground, extending parallel to the rotor plane. The results show that for all three blades, most of the noise is generated in the outer 25% of the blade span, with a maximum occurring just after the blade has passed the horizontal position going downwards. Results also show that tripped blade is the noisiest of the three, whereas the smoothest, polished blade is clearly the quietest. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.