Holistic approach to wind turbine noise: From blade trailing-edge modifications to annoyance estimation

Roberto Merino-Martínez*, Reto Pieren, Beat Schäffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


Wind turbines represent an encouraging option for sustainable energy but their noise emissions can be an issue for their public acceptance. Noise reduction measures, such as trailing-edge serrations or permeable inserts, seem to offer promising results in reducing wind turbine noise levels. This manuscript presents a novel holistic approach for perception-based evaluation of wind turbine noise and the performance of reduction measures using synthetic sound auralization. To demonstrate its feasibility, a case study featuring four state-of-the-art noise reduction trailing-edge add-ons synthetically applied to two full-scale wind turbines at nominal power is presented. The synthetic sound signals were auralized and propagated to three observer locations. The expected annoyance in each case was estimated by employing a combination of psychoacoustic sound quality metrics and a listening experiment featuring 16 participants. A close relation was found between the results of the psychoacoustic metrics and the listening experiment. In general, this holistic approach provides valuable information for the design of optimal noise reduction measures and wind turbines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111285
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Auralization
  • Noise annoyance
  • Permeable inserts
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Sound synthesis
  • Trailing-edge serrations
  • Wind turbine noise


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