Evidence Based Study of Noise Impacting Annoyance

Presented to Fourth International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise Rome Italy 11-14 April 2011 William K.G. Palmer B.A.Sc. P. Eng. trileaem@bmts.com

Outline of Presentation
‡ Complaints about noise and annoyance from wind turbines are increasing ‡ Some medical professionals link noise and annoyance to adverse health effects ‡ Engineering problem solving says look for changes as the cause of problems ‡ This presentation gives a procedure to collect and evaluate evidence of changes in noise levels at sites meeting regulatory approval ‡ Discussion of resulting recommended regulatory changes follows

Initial Sound Level Readings
dBA Control Home 1 Home 2 Home 1 Home 3 Home 4 Home 5 28 39.5 40.5-42.5 40.5-41.5 41.5 41.5-42.5 40-41 dBC 42-44 60-65 58-70 60-75 60-72 60-72 60-68 ¨dBA -C 14-16 20.5-25 17.5-27.5 19.5-33.5 18.5-30.5 18.5-29.5 20-27 Turbines 5000m @24% 620m @32% 560m @72% 620m @72% 450m @50% 450m @50% 650m @35%

Knowles Microphone Flat 20 Hz to 8000 Hz

1000 Hz Calibrator on Audacity Recorder

Gives editing capability to expand scale.

1000 Hz Calibrator expanded to 0.03 second trace

Used Audacity to Perform Frequency Analysis

Typical Monitoring Setup

Data Collection
‡ Readings were taken at a series of locations (10 km radius from centre) within a 2 hour period ‡ Same terrain, same general proximity to forested areas, same weather, fundamentally same wind speed ‡ Recorded time, wind speed, turbine output, weather conditions (wind direction), dBA and dBC sound levels. ‡ Performed a minimum 30 second to 5 minute recording ‡ Over 250 samples taken in all seasons, from March 2010 to March 2011 (and continuing)

Sound Levels at Test Homes Turbines Not Operating

Sound Levels at Test Homes Turbines Synchronized at 0%

Turbines at 25% Output

Comparison of Sound Levels at Homes Near and Far From Turbines ~ 25%
80.0

60.0

40.0

20.0

0.0 16 Hz -20.0 32 Hz 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000Hz 2000Hz 4000Hz 8000Hz 10oc Leq

-40.0

-60.0

-80.0 Frequency (Hz) TLE Jun10@0205_22% A Weighting Factor A-wt SCH Jun10@0358_29% CSK Jun10@0320_22% A-wt TLE Jun10@0205_22% SCH Jun10@0358_29% A-wt CSK Jun10@0320_22%

Turbines at High Power ~ 88%

Sound Level at Homes at Varying Distance - Wind Turbines - High Power (88%) - 10 m wind speed ~ 8 mps
90.0 80.0 70.0

60.0 50.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 10.0

0.0 16 Hz 32 Hz 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000Hz 2000Hz 4000Hz 8000Hz 10oc Leq

Frequency in Hertz (Hz)
SMI Nov20 0450 CSK Nov20 0526 SR10 Nov20 0552 TLE Nov20 0630

Winter Storm - Turbines 88%

Observations From Data
‡ Sound levels in low frequency octaves (16, 32, 64, 125 Hz) is ~ 20 dB higher at ³approved´ homes compared to ³control´ home in same environment ‡ Sound levels at ³approved´ homes for 0 power, with wind speeds 1 m/s is same as sound level at ³control´ home when wind speed is > 8m/s (30 km/hr ³fresh breeze´ Beaufort F. 5) ‡ At low frequency octaves up to 125 Hz, as wind speed increases from 1 m/s to 8 m/s, ³control home´ increases by 10 dB from ~ 20 to 30 dBA, ³approved´ homes increase 30 dB to 50 dBA

Impact of Cyclical Sound
‡ What the figures do not show is the impact of the cyclical sound ‡ Also have data that shows that the sound level is strongly correlated to the turbine output and very weakly correlated to the ground level wind speeds at approved homes near turbines

Sound at SMI Site Nov 20, 2010

Sound at CSK Site - Nov 20, 2010

Sound at SCH Site - Feb 15, 2011

Regulatory Updates
‡ Need to consider level weighting, not A-weighting of sound levels that neglects low frequency components ‡ Need to consider cyclical sound and its increased impact and perception ‡ Need to assess the under prediction of noise levels by models, as most audits show excesses ‡ Excesses above background of 3 dB are readily perceived, 20 dB excesses are unjustified by any criteria

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