A newly-designed material, which mimics the wing structure of owls, could help make wind turbines, computer fans and even planes much quieter. Early wind tunnel tests of the coating have shown a substantial reduction in noise without any noticeable effect on aerodynamics.
No other bird has this sort of intricate wing structure
An investigation into how owls fly and hunt in silence has enabled researchers to develop a prototype coating for wind turbine blades that could significantly reduce the amount of noise they make.
Early tests of the material, which mimics the intricate structure of an owl’s wing, have demonstrated that it could significantly reduce the amount of noise produced by wind turbines and other types of fan blades, such as those in computers or planes. Since wind turbines are heavily braked in order to minimise noise, the addition of this new surface would mean that they could be run at much higher speeds – producing more energy while making less noise. For an average-sized wind farm, this could mean several additional megawatts worth of electricity.
The surface has been developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with researchers at three institutions in the USA. Their results will be presented today (22 June) at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aeroacoustics Conference in Dallas.
“Many owls – primarily large owls like barn owls or great grey owls – can hunt by stealth, swooping down and capturing their prey undetected,” said Professor Nigel Peake of Cambridge’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, who led the research. “While we’ve known this for centuries, what hasn’t been known is how or why owls are able to fly in silence.”
Peake and his collaborators at Virginia Tech, Lehigh and Florida Atlantic Universities used high resolution microscopy to examine owl feathers in fine detail. They observed that the flight feathers on an owl’s wing have a downy covering, which resembles a forest canopy when viewed from above. In addition to this fluffy canopy, owl wings also have a flexible comb of evenly-spaced bristles along their leading edge, and a porous and elastic fringe on the trailing edge.
“No other bird has this sort of intricate wing structure,” said Peake. “Much of the noise caused by a wing – whether it’s attached to a bird, a plane or a fan – originates at the trailing edge where the air passing over the wing surface is turbulent. The structure of an owl’s wing serves to reduce noise by smoothing the passage of air as it passes over the wing – scattering the sound so their prey can’t hear them coming.”
In order to replicate the structure, the researchers looked to design a covering that would ‘scatter’ the sound generated by a turbine blade in the same way. Early experiments included covering a blade with material similar to that used for wedding veils, which despite its open structure, reduced the roughness of the underlying surface, lowering surface noise by as much as 30dB.
Read more: Silent flights: How owls could help make wind turbines and planes quieter
The Latest on: Noise reduction technologies
via Google News
The Latest on: Noise reduction technologies
- mBlu Lifeme TWS earphones with 30dB noise reduction, 6.5 hours battery life launchedon May 18, 2022 at 9:14 am
Blu Lifeme TWS earphones have been launched. In September last year, Meizu resurrected its mBlu (Charm Blue) brand and under it debuted its sub-brand called Lifeme. For those unaware, Meizu used to ...
- Neil Diamond Musical ‘A Beautiful Noise’ Sets Fall Broadway Openingon May 18, 2022 at 7:43 am
As expected, A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical is heading to Broadway, with producers announcing today that previews will begin Wednesday, November 2, at the Broadhurst Theatre, with an ...
- ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND TESTING PROGRAMME IMPROVES GV60 CABIN REFINEMENT TO NEW LEVELSon May 17, 2022 at 2:23 am
Cutting-edge solutions set new benchmark for cabin refinement Foam-filled tyres, aerodynamics, and noise-cancellation technology dramatically reduce cabin noise and vibration in GV60 ...
- Sony enhances noise-cancellationon May 16, 2022 at 10:00 pm
Sony’s new WH-1000XM5 headphones use two processors with eight microphones to reduce noise, particularly in the mid-high frequency range.
- Sony Announces WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphoneson May 14, 2022 at 7:10 am
The upcoming noise-cancelling headphones come in ... leading call quality thanks to Sony’s precise Voice Pickup technology. Utilizing the four beamforming microphones and an AI-based noise reduction ...
- Sony Introduces the WH-1000XM5 Noise-cancelling Headphoneson May 12, 2022 at 10:20 pm
This new model brings a whole new immersive, distraction-free sound experience to its users and thanks to the implementation of new technologies, they elevate the already industry-leading noise ...
- Sony announces WH-1000XM5 Noise Cancelling headphoneson May 12, 2022 at 4:21 pm
Sony has announced the launch of the WH-1000XM5 headphones as the successor to the WH-1000XM4. The new Sony headphones come with two processors ...
- Sony re-writes the rules with their newest industry-leading noise cancelling headphones – Introducing the WH-1000XM5on May 12, 2022 at 11:39 am
Immerse yourself in your sound and nothing else thanks to the new WH-1000XM5’s industry-leading noise cancelling with eight microphones and Auto NC Optimiser; Experience excepti ...
- Sony Electronics Unveils New Immersive Listening Experience with Newest Industry-leading Noise Canceling WH-1000XM5 Headphoneson May 12, 2022 at 9:19 am
Sony's precise Voice Pickup technology uses four beamforming microphones and an AI-based noise reduction structure to isolate the user's voice with perfect precision, while a newly developed wind ...
- Sony WH-1000XM5 review: Sony raises the bar for noise-cancelling headphones–againon May 12, 2022 at 8:59 am
The secret lies in the fact that each ear cup has four beam-forming microphones and an AI based noise-reduction system. Sony’s beam-forming technology gives you instant confidence that callers can ...
via Bing News