'Anti-Sound' silences wind turbines

Wind power is growing at record speed. Texas even has plans to connect its remote area turbines to the grid in order to bring in massive amounts of energy. And despite these positive developments, one thing prevents wind power from being accepted with open arms. It's the noise.

And this isn't like airport or freeway noise. Wind turbine noise is quite unpleasant, sounding like a whine or a clattering nuisance as it displaces the surrounding air. And since the pitch of the noise changes with the turbine's speed, traditional dampeners have little effect. But researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Dresden have discovered a way to dampen the sound.

The method involves producing an "anti-sound" that counterbalances the turbine's vibrations, turning what was a monotone buzz into nothing. The device can be mounted on existing turbines and should be pretty cheap.

[via DailyTech]