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PIBE project

Providing wind energy operators and residents of wind farms with new tools and knowledge to better understand the risk of noise pollution at each stage of a wind farm's life

Context

Despite the relatively moderate noise levels radiated by wind turbines, in comparison with those associated with transportation sources for instance, an annoyance can be reported when specific situations occur. Currently the only solutions to limit the noise emissions available to a wind operator is to reduce the activity of the wind farm by restricting or stopping the machines during critical periods, inevitably leading to a decrease in the wind farm energetic efficiency.

The reported noise annoyance is often related to the particular nature of the radiated sound signal that may present significant temporal fluctuations (amplitude modulation). Wind turbine noise may also contain important low-frequency components (audible or not) that can propagate over large distances. It may also have intermittent phenomena that potentially come from non-optimal wind turbine settings (stall noise for instance). If the existence of these phenomena is well known, their modeling represents nowadays a scientific challenge and their integration into noise prediction methods an operational challenge.

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Objectives of the project

The PIBE project is the first French collaborative research project on wind turbine noise. Its originality lies in its global approach, ranging from the study of sources of aerodynamic noise to the study of noise reduction solutions, including the modelling of noise propagation to the local population.

The objectives of the PIBE project are:

  • improve the prediction methods for wind turbine noise impact studies, from the source to the neighbor, in order for the wind farm developer to optimize a project since the development phase ;
  • investigate noise reduction solutions and their efficiency in controlled and real conditions.

To achieve the first objective, the mechanisms of aerodynamic noise generation, especially those causing amplitude modulation, must be better understood and modelled (Work Package 1), and the uncertainties relative to the variability of noise generation and propagation phenomena need to be evaluated (Work Package 2). Achieving the second objective requires gaining a deeper knowledge of noise reduction mechanisms and of its behaviour in real conditions (Work Package 3).

Expected results

The objective of the project is to provide wind energy professionals and residents of wind farms with new tools to better understand the risk of noise pollution at each stage of a wind farm's life in order to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements regarding the exposure of local populations.

Noise generation

Works on the study of aerodynamic noise will enable manufacturers, or companies in charge of equipment maintenance, to better understand noise generation phenomena, in order to better optimize wind energy equipment in the future

Acoustic
prediction

In addition to the work on noise emissions, the work on acoustic propagation will provide a wind farm developers with a better knowledge of global uncertainties on acoustic predictions, thus enabling them to better estimate the risk of annoyance and optimize its wind farm from the development phase.

Noise
reduction

Works on noise reduction solutions will propose innovative solutions that reduce noise at source, thus enabling a wind operator to deal with situations at risk during the operational phase, without necessarily having to lower the activity of the wind farm which very often have negative repercussions on the energy and economic profitability of the wind farm, whether located inshore or offshore.


Main
expected results

Development of models to estimate the emission and propagation of wind turbine noise.

The creation of a database of experimental data on the wind tunnel characterization of noise due to dynamic stall at wind turbine blades.

The creation of a database of experimental data on wind turbine noise in outdoor environments.

The creation of a database on uncertainties of wind turbine noise predictions

The evaluation and development of solutions for reducing wind turbine noise at source.