New blade designs reduce sound of small turbinesPOSTED 08/11/10 One of the concerns that many property owners and small business owners have about wind turbines is the potential for disruptive noise from the constant spinning of the turbine and its blades. It’s a valid issue – poorly designed installations can generate a large amount of noise, drawing complaints from users and neighbors. Effectively, the faster the turbine spins, the noisier it will be. On a calm day, it may be almost silent, but as wind – and power – increases, the decibel level picks up. A general rule states that the noise from a turbine increases in proportion to the fifth power of the wind speed, so small increases in wind can lead to much more noise. Fortunately, modern blade engineering can reduce the noise of small turbines, which is generally most noticeable at high tip speeds. Turbines optimized to work better at lower speeds will be less noisy, and also more effective in a wide range of conditions. Gearing and blade design can prevent the blades from spinning too fast. New engineering has brought the noise – and cost – of small wind turbines down. They are no longer the loud, inefficient and rattly constructions of years past.
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