Detection of aeroacoustic sound sources on aircraft and wind turbines

Stefan Oerlemans

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    1673 Downloads (Pure)


    This thesis deals with the detection of aeroacoustic sound sources on aircraft and wind turbines using phased microphone arrays. First, the reliability of the array technique is assessed using airframe noise measurements in open and closed wind tunnels. It is demonstrated that quantitative acoustic measurements are possible in both wind tunnels. Then, the array technique is applied to characterize the noise sources on two modern large wind turbines. It is shown that practically all noise emitted to the ground is produced by the outer part of the blades during their downward movement. This asymmetric source pattern, which causes the typical swishing noise during the passage of the blades, can be explained by trailing edge noise directivity and convective amplification. Next, a semi-empirical prediction method is developed for the noise from large wind turbines. The prediction code is successfully validated against the experimental results, not only with regard to sound levels, spectra, and directivity, but also with regard to the noise source distribution in the rotor plane and the temporal variation in sound level (swish). The validated prediction method is then applied to calculate wind turbine noise footprints, which show that large swish amplitudes can occur even at large distance. The influence of airfoil shape on blade noise is investigated through acoustic wind tunnel tests on a series of wind turbine airfoils. Measurements are carried out at various wind speeds and angles of attack, with and without upstream turbulence and boundary layer tripping. The speed dependence, directivity, and tonal behaviour are determined for both trailing edge noise and inflow turbulence noise. Finally, two noise reduction concepts are tested on a large wind turbine: acoustically optimized airfoils and trailing edge serrations. Both blade modifications yield a significant trailing edge noise reduction at low frequencies, but also cause increased tip noise at high frequencies. Nevertheless, it is demonstrated that using trailing edge serrations wind turbine noise can be halved without adverse effects on the aerodynamic performance.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Hirschberg, A., Supervisor
    • Sijtsma, P., Co-Supervisor, External person
    Award date4 Sep 2009
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-806343-9-8
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2009


    • IR-67363


    Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of aeroacoustic sound sources on aircraft and wind turbines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this