Siemens low noise wind turbine blades inspired by silent flight of the owl

Noise mitigation by biomimicry of owl wing’s trailing edge fringe Product launch “Next Generation DinoTail” Serial production to be started soon

Silent operation of turbines is crucial for the success of many onshore wind projects. Siemens has therefore conducted extensive R&D over the last years to further reduce the noise of its wind turbines. An important breakthrough has now been achieved with the launch of a new generation of Siemens' so-called DinoTail, an aerodynamic blade add-on. The trailing edge fringe of an owl's wing provided the inspiration for this noise-reducing component.

Owls are silent hunters. Flying without noise allows them to stealthily approach their prey - primarily smaller rodents. This is enabled by a particular structure of the owl's wings: A serrated, fringed structure at the trailing edge, and small combs at the leading edge of the wings are believed to mitigate the noise of the air flow by generating fine vortices. This effect is now used by a new Siemens invention which optimizes the aeroacoustic performance of rotor blades.
In addition to vortex generators on the blade surface, Siemens now equips trailing edges with a combination of serrations and combs. This combed teeth concept creates fine vortices at the point where the fast air stream from above the blade profile meets the slower flow from below. As a result, the aerodynamic noise from the trailing edge of the blade is reduced significantly.
"In our wind tunnel measurements and field tests, the combed teeth showed a substantial reduction in wind turbine noise at all wind speeds," reports Stefan Oerlemans, Key Expert, Aeroacoustics, at the technology department of Siemens Wind Power. "This structure that was inspired by owl wings does not compromise the aerodynamic performance."
As a consequence the noise mitigation does not affect the annual energy production of a wind turbine, Oerlemans explained at a presentation of the concept during the WindEnergy Hamburg 2016 trade show. For noise-constrained sites, the new technology can be used to increase energy production without increasing noise emissions.
The new combed teeth blade add-on will largely replace Siemens' first generation DinoTail for onshore wind turbines. Serial manufacturing will start soon as part of the Low Noise equipment of the new Siemens wind turbine SWT-3.3-130LN. The new DinoTail Next Generation will also be applied at further new turbine models.
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Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment - such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems - and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2015, which ended on September 30, 2015, Siemens generated revenue of €75.6 billion and net income of €7.4 billion. At the end of September 2015, the company had around 348,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at

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