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Making wind turbines more efficient and reducing noise

A wind turbine at Tjæreborg Enge, 10 km south of Esbjerg in Denmark, has been fitted with a test blade with advanced measuring equipment to gather data on how to make wind turbines more efficient and less noisy.

The measurements on the test blade begin in May, and according to Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark, the experiments will provide an accurate picture of how the wind acts around a cross-section of a wind turbine blade.

These air currents can be calculated and used for designing new blade profiles avoiding the inaccuracy of calculation models and the ‘static’ conditions of wind tunnel testing.

The wind turbine test blade was produced by LM Glasfiber and carries measuring devices. More than 300 measurement points will be read 30 to 100 times per second and some of them up to 50,000 times per second.

The only visible equipment on the wind turbine blade is four small pipes, pointing out from the front edge of the blade measuring the wind which hits the blade where a number of small holes (1 mm in diameter) have been made to enable the measurement of pressure distribution on the blade.

The measurements will take three to four months starting in May 2009 and will be made in series lasting three to four days. There will be no measurements during rainy or humid weather, as it may cause damage to the instruments.

There will also be noise measurements on the noise from wind turbines.

Wind conditions

Laser beams from a LIDAR instrument will be used to measure the wind conditions. The LIDAR instrument can measure the wind speed high above where the blades are rotating, from the ground.

The research project Experimental rotor- and profile aerodynamics on MW wind turbines is supported by the Danish energy research programme EFP-2007.

Participants in the project are:

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