GE, DOE Sandia Labs Explore Low-Noise Wind Turbines; Mark Jonkhof Comments

Photo: Veniamin KraskovGeneral Electric‘s technology development arm and a U.S. Energy Department laboratory are exploring methods to reduce noise levels and increase the power output of wind turbines.

Sandia National Laboratories provided a supercomputer for GE scientists to predict the aerodynamic behavior of wind-turbine blades and gain insights to improve rotor design, GE said Thursday.

To address noise issues, GE’s current approach involves measuring airfoil level acoustics in wind tunnels and implementing acceptable noise modes in the control system.

“By using high-performance computing to advance current engineering models that are used to predict blade noise, we can build quieter rotors with greater blade tip velocity that produce more power,” said Mark Jonkhof, wind technology platform leader at GE Global Research.

“We believe that the results achieved from our simulations would, at the very least, lay the groundwork for improved noise design models,” Jonkhof added.

Sandia’s computing platform, Red Mesa, is designed with a large eddy simulation technology built at Stanford University.

A Lockheed Martin subsidiary operates the lab for DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

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