Foto Bax Lindhardt

“I hope the research can make wind turbines more popular”

Friday 05 Feb 21


Camilla Marie Nyborg
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy

The title of Camilla Nyborg’s PhD project is “Development of numerical tools for noise control in wind farms.”

The project period is 01/10/2019 to 30/09/2022.

The supervisor is Wen Zhong Shen

Profile: Camilla Nyborg is working on a PhD project which she hopes will result in a new method for wind farms to reduce the noise from the large blades and optimize energy yields.

Camilla Nyborg loves looking over the Sound at the 20 turbines in Middelgrundens Wind Farm. She thinks it’s a beautiful sight when the big blades spin and send sustainable energy out to the rest of the country.

But not everyone shares her fascination with wind turbines, and she admits she’s biased. Camilla has a master’s degree in wind energy from DTU and is halfway through her PhD project on the noise transmission and efficiency of wind turbines.

“Society is very focused on speeding up developments within sustainable energy, and wind turbine manufacturers are constantly trying to optimize the turbines by making them bigger and more efficient. But we shouldn’t forget that wind turbines also have an environmental impact. Noise is one of the major problems, especially when the turbines are on land, and it can lead to a whole wind farm project being rejected if the manufacturers can’t promise that the noise is low enough. Noise from wind turbines can bother people living near them and disturb their sleep,” says Camilla.

This is the background of her PhD project, which she hopes will result in a new method for wind farms to reduce the noise from the large blades and optimize energy yields.

“There are clear rules about how much noise a wind turbine is allowed to make, so it’s sometimes necessary to turn them off at night or operate them in a noise-reducing way during certain periods. But of course that affects the energy yield, so we’re trying to find the perfect balance based on a computer model developed at DTU Wind Energy,” says Camilla.

To do this, Camilla and her team also have to gather data from wind turbines in the countryside. But it’s a difficult task, she says.

“We put a series of microphones on on a row from the turbine and measure the noise. This lets us compare the measurements to the noise transmission calculations that we do with our models. But it quickly gets very complicated, because there’s lots of background noise from passing tractors, tweeting birds and the wind blowing into the microphones.”

DTU ideal for studying wind energy

When Camilla started her studies at DTU, she chose to do a bachelor degree in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering because she wanted to become an astrophysicist. But during a student exchange stay at one of DTU’s partner universities, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, she became fascinated by Singapore’s rapid development towards a greener and more sustainable city. This inspired her so much that she decided to shift her focus from space to the more down-to-earth wind turbines.

She had also become intrigued by fluid mechanics, which among other things can be used to calculate the airflow around wind turbines. So she did a master’s programme in wind energy and then applied for a PhD programme at DTU Wind Energy. She had long since realized that it is the best place in the world to study if you want to work with wind turbines.

“People come from all over the world to learn from the professors here. I think we can be immensely proud of that. So I never saw any reason to go anywhere else,” she says.

Camilla loves the international environment at DTU, where the doors are always open and you can go to anyone for help or to offer a good idea for how to do things differently.

“You’re always taken seriously, even if you’re ‘just’ a student.”
3 MARCH 2021