Owl wings tell scientists how to improve wind turbine blades

Thanks to the special design of the wings, owls are rightfully considered the unsurpassed masters of silent hunting. This unique feature prompted the physicist Nigel Peak to begin research on the creation of silent rotating blades.

“The reason for the noise, - explains N. Peak, - is that the air flow, passing over the surface of the wing, creates turbulence. The structure of the owl's wing cancels out the arising noises by smoothing, dispersing the air flow, which makes the bird's flight almost silent. "

On the basis of research on owl wings, scientists have developed a "technology of silence", which has already begun to be implemented. At a presentation at the Institute of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Aeroacoustics, Nigel Peak and his colleagues presented a way to reduce the noise of wind turbine blades.

To do this, they covered the blades of the windmill with a cloth that is usually used in the manufacture of wedding veils. When rotated, it performed the functions of owl feathers, which reduce the noise level. However, this is not suitable for industrial use, so it was decided to create special plastic coatings, printed on a 3D printer, which ultimately reduced the noise of the turbines by 10 decibels.

The scientists hope their research will help create low-noise wind turbines and aircraft engines.