By Electronic Delivery

May 28, 2012
Honorable Jaclyn A. Brilling
New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12212-1350
RE: Case 12-F-0036 – In the Matter of the Rules and Regulation of the Board On
Electric Generation Siting and the Environment
Dear Secretary Brilling,
I am Charles Ebbing, President of Ebbing Acoustics, and am actively involved as an
Acoustical Consultant on Noise and Vibration Issues associated with Industrial Wind
Turbines and from the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning) Industry.
I worked from 1967 to 1999 for Carrier Corp, in the Research Division as Technical Leader
in Acoustics, as Product Manager, and as the Carrier Corporate Noise Control Consultant.
After retiring from Carrier, as an Adjunct Professor, I taught Graduate Noise Control Courses
at RPI and at Syracuse University associated with Building Mechanical Noise, Noise Control
in Buildings, and the Use of Noise Criteria in the design of occupied spaces.

Overview
The Industrial Wind Industry continues to assert that Low Frequency Noise need not be
evaluated for Industrial Wind Turbines and that dBA provides the information needed to
access the noise impact on the adjacent community.
They also contend that Low Frequency Noise from Industrial Turbines is not a major
it should
not
required
the
final
Article
problem, and thus dBC noise measurements should
not
bebe
required
inin
the
final
Article
XX
Guidelines.
They also assert that collecting dBC Noise data imposes an unrealistic burden on the
Industrial Wind Industry.
basis
forfor
these
positions
based
on my
Research
and and
I challenge
challengethe
thetechnical
technical
basis
these
positions
based
onpersonal
my personal
Research
Experience
as
Acoustical
Engineer
specializing
in
these
areas.
Experience as Acoustical Engineer specializing in these areas.

I am the lead author of the Book, “Application of Manufacturers’ Sound Data” that
resulted from ASHRAE Research Project RP-786, Oct 1, 1998 (WWW.ASHRAE.ORG). The
book has an extensive discussion of the use of RC Criterion to evaluate the expected low
frequency noise level in occupied spaces and determine the required noise reductions to
meet the Noise Goals established for Occupied Spaces in Buildings.
It is important to realize that industrial wind turbines are basically electrical generators
turned by very, very large turbine blades. Noise is produced by the air flow and air
turbulence over the turbine blade.
The noise producing mechanisms for HVAC fans are quite similar except that the fans are
much smaller in Building Air Conditioning Systems and are driven by electrical motors and
produce much less Low Frequency Noise.
Fan Noise is produced by the air flow and air turbulence over the fan blade that is induced
by the fan blade rotation.
The Spectrum of the noise produced by Turbines and that produced by HVAC Fans both
produce more Low Frequency Noise than Mid or High Frequency Noise.
In operation, the fan blades and the turbine blades both generate broad band and tonal
noise which increases at low frequencies and decreases at the higher frequencies.
Wind Turbines produce increased Low Frequency Noise when the air flow entering the
Turbine Blades deviates from Laminar Flow. The Wind Industry rates the noise from their
units striving for the most laminar flow entering the turbine blades.
Similarly fans produce increased noise with highly turbulent inlet conditions or poorly
designed ductwork in the fans discharge.
My field experience with HVAC Units that produced unacceptable time varying low
frequency Rumble was because of the excessive time modulation of the noise in the 63,
31.5, and 16 Hz bands.
The characteristics of the wind turbine sound emissions are similar to those of
problematic HVAC systems
My field experience is that tenants of new office buildings with Rumble from HVAC systems
were unable to “tune out” the amplitude modulated low frequencies and wanted to return
to their old offices to get away from the noise.
It was only when we able to reduce the Low Frequency Noise Radiation in the first three
Octave Bands, to that indicated by the ASHRAE RC curves, that the occupants were satisfied.

The Low Frequency noise source ratings of the Turbines are needed to estimate the low
frequency impact in the Homes of Occupants of interest. This impact cannot be
determined from just considering the dBA noise levels of the Turbines. The literature
shows that the dBA high frequency noise reduction of homes is significant, whereas low
frequency noise reduction coupled with amplification from resonance of homes vary but
on average the expected dBC reduction is close to zero.
Based on my experience the is no way to evaluate or anticipate Low Frequency Noise LFN
Problems from Wind Turbines unless a proper study is conducted and that cannot be done
if the focus is only on dBA.
Further, the types of symptoms that are being reported from people with long term
exposure to Low Frequency Noise in their homes from Industrial Wind Turbines are
The Wind Turbine Applicants should provide the information needed to evaluate the
similar to the reactions, I witnessed from many LFN exposed knowledge workers inside of
noise impact on the adjacent community. The largest impact, in my opinion is inside the
occupied spaces which were generated by Buildings HVAC fans.
Occupants Homes. They cannot estimate this without knowing a rational estimate of the
expected dBC outside their homes.
The Industrial Wind Industry should disclose both source dBA and dBC Sound Power
Ratings of their turbines and document estimates of the expected noise levels at the
Property Lines of the Residents both in dBA and dBC so that it is possible to evaluate both
the expected dBA and dBC inside the residences’ home. Low frequency noise problems
cannot be anticipated or prevented from dBA data.
Data collection of both dBC and dBA as well as octave or 1/3 Octave band is not
considered difficult and burdensome by the HVAC industry. Why should the Wind
Industry claim that that it is too difficult and burdensome for them, when they use the
same high quality acoustical instrumentation that the HVAC Industry uses to collect the
noise rating of their machinery?
The HVAC Industry has acknowledged that Low Frequency Noise Rating data from Rooftop
Units and Central Station Fan Units are important to achieve acceptable Room Noise
Levels. To do this the HVAC Industry looked to its Technical Society ASHRAE to set these
recommendations.
It is apparent that the Wind Industry has not chosen to recognize that the HVAC Industry
has effectively dealt with the low frequency noise problems of its industry since the mid
80’s.
Below is an ASHRAE listing of the research projects associated with Low Frequency Noise
affect on people in Occupied Spaces in buildings.
I recommend that the Wind Industry review the work research is needed to establish a set
of RC curves with Quality modifiers specific to wind turbine noise.

SHRAE Research Strategic Plan 2010-2015

The Wind Turbine Applicants should provide the information needed to evaluate the
noise impact on the adjacent community. The largest impact, in my opinion is inside the
Occupants Homes. This cannot be estimated without knowing a rational estimate of the
expected dBC outside their homes.
The Industrial Wind Industry should disclose as a minimum , both source dBA and dBC
Sound Power Ratings of their turbines and document estimates of the expected noise
levels at the Property Lines of the Residents both in dBA and dBC so that it is possible to
evaluate both the expected dBA and dBC inside the residences’ home.
Low frequency noise problems cannot be evaluated or anticipated from dBA data.
The HVAC Industry has acknowledged that Low Frequency Noise Rating data from Rooftop
Units and Central Station Fan Units are important to achieve acceptable Room Noise
Levels. To do this the HVAC Industry looked to its Technical Society ASHRAE to set these
recommendations.
The ASHRAE Research that follows should not be ignored in setting Article X noise
standards for evaluation of the expected noise from Wind Farms.

SHRAE Research Strategic Plan 2010-2015
ASHRAE Research Strategic Plan 2010-2015
ASHRAE Research Strategic Plan 2010-2015

A S H R A E R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T initiated by TC 2.6
Pertaining to Low Frequency Rumble in HVAC Occupied Spaces

28-May-12

START
TITLE

RP #

SOURCE

CONTRACTOR

END

TC/TG

PRIN. INVEST.

EXTEN.

Category

(REGION)

COMP.

OR HVAC&R JOURNAL

-----------------------------------INDUSTRIAL ACOUSTICS
INGARD, UNO (1)
-----------------------------------L.S. GOODFRIEND &
ASSOC.
GOODFRIEND, L.S.
(1)
-----------------------------------PELTON/BLUM, INC.
REYNOLDS, D.D.
(8)
-----------------------------------U. OF MISSOURI
CUMMINGS, A.
(6)
-----------------------------------BOLT BERANEK &
NEWMAN, INC.
VER, I.
(1)
-----------------------------------BOLT BERANEK
AND NEWMAN INC.
SHULTZ, T.
(1)

------------ -------------26,400
C65.08
------------ -------------S72.12
16,000
E73.09
X75.02
C75.04
------------ -------------S80.07
40,370
E81.07
C81.07
------------ -------------S81.09
64,595
E83.09
C84.01
------------ -------------S81.08
39,500
E82.08
X82.03
C83.06
------------ -------------S82.06
43,543
E83.03
C83.06

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2068 VOL.74 PT.1(1968)
YES
YES

------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------37
NOISE GENERATION IN DUCTS
TC 2.6
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------126
A STUDY TO UPDATE INDOOR
SOUND CRITERIA FOR AIR
TC 2.6
CONDITIONING SYSTEMS
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------266
PROPELLER FAN DYNAMICS
WS
TC 2.6
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------318
LOW FREQUENCY NOISE
RADIATION FROM AIR
TC 2.6
CONDITIONING DUCTS
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------319
PREDICTION OF SOUND TRANSURP
MISSION THROUGH DUCT
TC 2.6
WALLS; BREAKOUT AND PICKUP
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------339
IMPROVED RELIABILITY OF
URP
THE RELATION BETWEEN SOUND
TC 2.6
POWER LEVEL AND SOUND
PRESSURE LEVEL

TOTAL
$

C89.10
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------526
SEPARATE APPLICATION GUIDE
WS
PAUL S. VENEKLASEN
S88.09
47,929
ON HVAC ACOUSTICS
TC 2.6
& ASSOC.
E89.10
VENEKLASEN, P.
X90.08
(10)
C90.08
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------556
ALGORITHMS FOR HVAC
WS
DDR, INC.
S87.09
49,320
ACOUSTICS
TC 2.6
REYNOLDS,D.D.
E88.09
(10)
C89.02

RESULTING PAPERS
IN ASHRAE TRANSACTIONS

FINAL

PDF

REPORT

COPY OF

AVAILABLE

REPORT

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2601VOL.86 PT.2(1980)
YES
YES

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2819 VOL.90 PT.1(1984)
NO
NO
#2820 VOL.90 PT.1(1984)
---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2889 VOL.91PT.2(1985)
YES
YES

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2851VOL.90 PT.2A(1984)
YES
YES

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#2865 VOL.91PT.1(1985)
YES
YES

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------NY-91-03 #4 VOL.97 PT.1
YES
YES
SPEC. PUB. #90340 (IP)
SPEC. PUB.
SPEC. PUB. #90341(SI)

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------#3206 VOL.95 PT.1(1989)
YES
YES
#3207 VOL.95 PT.1(1989)
SPEC. PUB.
#3208 VOL.95 PT.1(1989)
SPEC. PUB. #90334 & 30335
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------- ---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------

624

------------714

------------786

------------879

------------1026

LABORATORY METHODS OF
WS
TESTING FOR RATING LOW
TC 2.6
FREQUENCY SOUND EMISSION
OF AIR CONDITIONING
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------DETERMINATION OF THE
WS
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
TC 2.6
LOW-FREQUENCY HVAC NOISE
AND COMFORT IN OCCUPIED
SPACES
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------GUIDE TO THE PROPER
WS
APPLICATION AND USE OF
TC 2.6
MANUFACTURERS' SOUND DATA
ON HVAC EQUIPMENT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------DETERMINATION OF THE
WS
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LOW TC 2.6
FREQUENCY HVAC NOISE AND
IAQ,C&H
COMFORT IN OCCUPIED
SPACES - PSYCHO-ACOUSTICAL
PHASE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------SOUND ATTENUATION
WS
PROPERTIES OF HVAC PLENUMS
TC 2.6
DT

NATIONAL RESEARCH
COUNCIL OF CANADA
CHU, W.T. (2)

S89.09
E91.06
C92.11

95,455 DE-93-17 #4, VOL 99 PT.2

-----------------------------------VIPAC ENG. & SCT.
BRONER, NORMAN
(0)

------------ -------------- ---------------------------------------- --------------------------------S92.09
83,100 #3821VOL.100 PT.2 (1994)
YES
YES
E93.06
C94.06

-----------------------------------SCANTECH
PEPPIN, RICHARD
(3)

------------ -------------- ---------------------------------------- --------------------------------S94.04
74,000 #4053 VOL.103 PT.2 (1997)
YES
YES
E95.10
SPEC.PUB. 90393
SPEC. PUB.
C97.02

-----------------------------------VIPAC ENGINEERS
NORMAN BRONER
(0)

------------ -------------- ---------------------------------------- --------------------------------S96.04
124,320 PAPER IN REVIEW 04.04
YES
YES
E97.10
OR-05-06-2 VOL.111PT 1
X03.11
C04.06

-----------------------------------VIBRO-ACOUSTICS
EMANUAEL MOURATIDIS
(2)

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------NA-04-3-1VOL. 110 PT 2
YES
YES
NA-04-3-2 VOL. 110 PT 2

------------ -------------S99.04
100,000
E01.01
X02.02
C03.12
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------1150
LOW FREQUENCY NOISE AND
URP
CIBSE
S99.09
20,000
BUILDING SICKNESS SYNDROME
TC 2.6
H.G. LEVENTHALL
E00.12
(0)
T01.01
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------1218
NUMERICAL METHODS FOR LOW
WS
U. OF KENTUCKY
S04.04
103,930
FREQUENCY HVAC NOISE
TC 2.6
ANDREW SEYBERT
E05.10
APPLICATIONS
IAQ,C&H
(7)
C06.11
------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------- ------------------------------------ ------------ -------------1219
QUALIFICATION OF DUCT RUMBLE
WS
IOWA STATE U
S04.09
118,656
NOISE RESULTING FROM NOISE RESULTING FROM TC 2.6
J ADMIN MANN
E06.09
AERODYNAMIC SYSTEM EFFECTS AT
DT
(6)
C08.11
THE DISCHARGE OF A CENTRIFUGAL
FAN

YES

YES

---------------------------------------- --------------------------------TERMINATED
NO
NO
NOT FIND TEST BLDG.
LOST CO-FUNDER
---------------------------------------- --------------------------------DA-07-002 VOL.113 PT 1
YES
YES
DA-07-003 VOL.113 PT 1
---------------------------------------- --------------------------------SL-08-002 VOL.114 PT 2
YES
YES
SL-08-003 VOL.114 PT 2

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1322/A
PRODUCTIVITY AND PERCEPTION
URP
U. OF NEBRASKA
S04.12
69,638 ACTIVE PROJECT
NO
NO
URP
BASED EVALUATIONS OF INDOOR
TC 2.1
LILY M. WANG
E06.03
AB-10-018 VOL. 116 PT 2
NOISE CRITERIANOISE CRITERIANOISE CRITERIA
TC 2.6
(9)
X06.10
AB-10-019 VOL. 116 PT 2
IAQ,C&H
X07.02
X07.06
X08.06
X09.02
C?

Charles Ebbing
President Ebbing Acoustics
LaFargeville, NY

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