Noise has become an issue with wind energy development – just a few months ago, Fairhaven, Mass., decided to shut down two 1.5-megawatt turbines between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in response to neighborhood noise complaints. Such complaints are often accompanied by claims of ill health effects, although little science can be found to back up those claims.
But whether the new insights GE and researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories are talking about will make a big difference there is hard to say: They seem to be more focused on the fact that production of noise also leads to reduction in power – so trimming what the scientists call “aerodynamic blade noise” is more about making wind turbines more powerful rather than reducing their bother to the neighborhood.
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