Want wind power, but think that those tri-bladed behemoths are just too loud? Well then, Australia Renewable Energy Solutions has just the thing for you: The Eco Whisper wind turbine. This sharp-looking little contraption may only have a 20 kW generating capacity, but the company claims that the turbine is "virtually silent". It's also, allegedly, more efficient. Here's an intro to how it works:
The blades are 20 ft in diameter, and the entire thing stands 70 ft tall.
AOL Energy has more:
The company said the turbine is "virtually silent," thanks to its unique design, in which the 30 blades are angled outward from the hub, and surrounded at their ends by a ring. This ring, the company says, "prevents air 'spilling' off the tip of the blades," the source of much of the noise that traditional turbines produce. The company also lists greater efficiency and lower start-up speeds as advantages compared to competitors.Sounds cool, and I'm all for experimenting with new turbine designs. But if the aim is to try to pacify wind power naysayers who complain about noise with a quiet turbine, this pitch will likely fall on deaf ears (pun!).
That's because the much-hyped "Wind Turbine Syndrome" -- allegedly caused by the sounds and 'sub-audible vibrations' emitted by the turbines -- has already been proven to be a steaming load of bunk. And many of the people who complain about wind turbines being too noisy seem to be, primarily, grumps with too much time on their hands -- especially considering that when they're compensated by wind power companies for having the turbines nearby their homes, their complaints magically disappear. These folks aren't really bothered by the noise level of the turbines -- they have issues with the changing world they represent, and often, an axe to grind. A genuinely silent turbine probably won't quell their objections.
That said, the 'silent' turbine may be a strong selling point for businesses and homeowners already interested in small scale wind power -- silent, efficient clean energy generation is appealing indeed.