A Study of Power Production and Noise Generation of a Small Wind Turbine for an Urban Environment

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrew Hays

Baylor University

Kenneth Van Treuren

ASME member, Department of Mechanical Engineering, One Bear Place #97356, Waco, Texas 76798-7356

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041544 History: Received July 01, 2018; Revised September 09, 2018


Wind energy has had a major impact on the generation of renewable energy. While most research and development focuses on large, utility-scale wind turbines, a new application is in the field of small wind turbines in the urban environment. A major design challenge for these urban wind turbines is the noise generated during operation. This study examines the power production and the noise generated by two small-scale wind turbines tested in a small wind tunnel. Both rotors were designed using the Blade-Element Momentum Theory and either the NREL S823 or the Eppler 216 airfoils. Point noise measurements were taken using a 1/4" microphone at three locations downstream of the turbine: 16% of the diameter (two chord lengths), 50% of the diameter, and 75% of the diameter. At each horizontal location downstream of the turbine, a vertical traverse was performed to analyze the sound pressure level from the tip of the turbine blades down to the hub. The rotor designed with the Eppler 216 airfoil showed a 9% increase in power production and decrease of up to 7 dB(A).

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