Numerical model for noise reduction of small vertical-axis wind turbines
Abstract. Wind turbines are a promising solution for sustainable energy, but their noise emissions present a challenge to public acceptance. Numerous blade designs have been aimed at reducing noise but often come with a decrease in wind turbine aerodynamic efficiency. In this study, the acoustic power and torque of a 5 kW vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT) were simulated by using different mesh sizes and turbulence models. The simulated torque and noise of the turbine have significant sensitivity to the mesh size, so suitable mesh sizes were determined for the near-wall and rotating regions that can be used as a design reference for future turbines with similar operating conditions. The selection of the turbulence model was found to affect the predicted torque by about 10 % and the predicted tip noise by about 2 dB. The selected mesh size and turbulence model were then applied to simulating the effectiveness of three common noise mitigation techniques: a mask, deflector, and wall roughness. The results showed that deflectors are suitable for noise reduction of small VAWTs. This paper provides valuable information on simulating noise propagation from small VAWTs and the optimal noise reduction techniques.
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