Important milestone of the UPWARDS project

The H2020 UPWARDS project funded by the European Commission under the Grant Agreement no 763990

Wind turbine noise originates from two principal sources: the aerodynamic noise produced by the wind turbine blades and the mechanical noise from the gearbox and generator hosted in the nacelle. The aerodynamic component usually dominates the radiated acoustic field, and tends to further increase with ever-growing rotor dimensions. Quieter blade design is necessary to enable the sustainable deployment of wind energy in Europe.

Aero-acoustic wind turbine design is nowadays mostly performed assuming standardized atmospheric conditions, which are rarely met in the field. The H2020 UPWARDS project funded by the European Commission (Grant Agreement no 763990) aims at improving wind turbine design by accounting for more realistic weather conditions, impacting both the generation of noise and its propagation through the atmospheric boundary layer.

The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) and Siemens Industry Software N.V. (SISW) are collaborating on that topic, and have reached an important milestone of the UPWARDS project, validating the core methods of the aeroacoustic simulation chain through benchmark comparison. The procedure is based on an automated two-dimensional workflow applied to iso-radius sections along the blade span. The VKI model is based on semi-empirical models derived from Amiet's theory while the method adopted by SISW is based on a stochastic reconstruction of sound sources combined with a finite-element code for acoustic propagation.
Preliminary results have also been obtained for a Siemens SWT-2.3MW-93 wind turbine subjected to uniform flow conditions, as a first step. The next objectives are to account for real atmospheric boundary layer effects, and to include leading-edge noise due to incoming turbulence.