3D Printed porous materials for wind turbine airfoil noise reduction
A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.
Aerodynamic noise of wind turbines is annoying, limiting their energy production and location, thereby increasing the cost of energy. Energy production might increase with 2 - 4% by 1 dB noise reduction.
3D printed rigid foams, retrofitted at the trailing edge of blades, serve as an all-in-one noise mitigation system by altering the hydrodynamic flow field, modifying the acoustic scattering and dampening the surface pressure fluctuations.
Current research focuses on the effect of pore shape, size and distribution on the hydrodynamic/acoustic efficiency, and the effect of environmental factors (i.e., dust) on the long-term acoustic performances. A full-scale proof of concept is due in 4 years.
Dr. Francesco Avallone