'Reminds me: Early one morning 'bout 30 years ago, I was at my van in the
driveway of a rental house I had then preparing to do some painting there.
I heard a gaggle of geese honking behind some trees a half block or so away,
and I looked up to see them climbing out from a small lake behind the trees
and coming straight toward me. As they continued pumping their wings hard
in the climb, I could hear the steady, nearly imperceptible hiss of their
slipstream interspersed with the rhythmic swoosh of their wings in perfect
unison - a beautiful sound and a beautiful sight on a quiet, still morning.
Also interesting to note their gear-up and perfectly tucked in to complete
beautifully streamlined undersides.
- Original Message -
From: Rich Thomas via Mercedes email@example.com
Cc: Rich Thomas richthomas79td...@constructivity.net
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] OT Owls and the quest for quieter wind energy/ 3D
I saw that yesterday, quite interesting. We looked into some bird stuff
when I was in kawledge, always fascinating to see nature's (intelligent)
I was on the farm once some years ago, went out for a stroll late one
night and there was a big owl sitting on top of the barn. I stopped and
stood there and watched it a few minutes while it watched me. I decided
to head back in and as I was walking back it flew right over my shoulder,
wings almost touched my head, and I could not hear it a bit. (WHOA that
was a surprise!) It was pretty cool, I probably had stirred up a mouse or
something, it flew right down to the ground in front of me but did not
There is a place here called the Center for Birds of Prey that rescues
injured birds and rehabilitates them. Some can't go back to the wild so
they keep them and go our and do demonstrations here and there. I have
been to a few and one time they had a big owl, when it flew you couldn't
hear it either but the hawks and eagles made a fair amount of whooshing
On 6/23/15 10:31 AM, Andrew Strasfogel via Mercedes wrote:
I found this very cool.
Want quieter wind farms? Owls may have the answer
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 | 9:06 AM ETCNBC.com
From computer fans to wind turbines, fan blades are commonplace, but
there's no denying they can be noisy. Now, a team of researchers at the
University of Cambridge have said help may be on hand -- from a feathered
By studying the wing structure of owls, the researchers have designed a
material that shows substantial signs of noise reduction, and could
fan blades much quieter in years to come.
Ian Evenden/PhotoPlus Magazine | Future | Getty Images
Early tests of the prototype coating -- made of 3D-printed plastic --
revealed that noise from wind turbine blades was reduced by 10 decibels,
without any signs of an impact on aerodynamics.
This is not a major noise reduction, but the researchers stressed that if
it was used in wind farms, turbines could run at higher speeds without
creating any extra noise, therefore producing more energy.
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Owls are known for their stealthy predatory skills, and scientists have
attributed this to their silent flying skills. It was because of this
the University of Cambridge, along with three U.S. institutions, used
high-resolution microscopy to examine the structure of owl wings and
feathers to see if it could be replicated.
Much of the noise caused by a wing – whether it's attached to a bird, a
plane or a fan – originates at the trailing edge where the air passing
the wing surface is turbulent, lead researcher, Professor Nigel Peake,
said in a statement.
The structure of an owl's wing serves to reduce noise by smoothing the
passage of air as it passes over the wing – scattering the sound so their
prey can't hear them coming.
Read MoreRenewable power will overtake coal if pledges kept
The scientists designed their own coating, which scatters sound like
do. The next stage is to apply the coating on a large-scale functioning
turbine and potentially even aeroplanes – although the researchers
this would be far more complicated.
Virginia Tech, Lehigh and Florida Atlantic Universities worked with the
University of Cambridge on the research, which was funded by the U.S.
Office of Naval Research and U.S. National Science Foundation.
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