Owls — those whimsical and deadly hunting machines that crafty people love and Harry Potter characters employ as postal workers — have the unusual ability to fly in (virtual) silence. That’s bad news if you’re a delicious-looking rodent minding your own business, but it’s good news if you’re a scientist looking for a way to silence noisy wind turbines.
Nigel Peake, a professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge, happens to be one of those scientists. And by using a 3D-printed material meant to mimic the surface of owl wings, he and his colleagues were able to lower the noise level of a wind turbine blade by about 10 decibels. (For comparison: The typical wind turbine a few hundred yards from a house will come in around 40 decibels, about as loud as the in-house refrigerator, according to GE.)
Here’s more from a press release out of the…
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