We are excited to announce our submission, The Challenges and Benefits of Long-Term Noise Monitoring of Wind Farm Sites was accepted by INCE’s Wind Turbine Noise Conference to be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 2-5, 2017.
Turbine noise continues to be a contentious issue in the development and operation for a number of wind farms. Developers seeking to site a wind farm may take every precaution to meet all noise regulations and project goals, yet rigorous ambient sound measurements and extensive modeling to demonstrate regulatory compliance can still be met with intense public skepticism and resistance. Once operational, even with demonstrated project compliance per regulatory rules, wind farms may face heightened scrutiny as nearby community members begin to experience the noise emissions first hand.
Ethan Brush, James Barnes, Marc Newmark and Bill Yoder, all part of Acentech’s Noise + Vibration group, have been involved with a number of long term noise studies at wind sites in the Northeastern United States, lasting months to several years. Their long term studies have been sponsored by government agencies and wind farm operators with input from community groups. They documented turbine noise levels through varying seasons, wind environments, temperatures, foliage, and turbine operating conditions. The main goal in each study has been to provide as much objective evidence as possible, comparing turbine noise levels to applicable regulations, and providing more insight into the potential concerns of infrasound and noise amplitude modulation.
At INCE’s Wind Turbine Noise Conference in Rotterdam, we will present the many technical challenges that have been addressed in these projects, such as how to separate turbine noise from background sounds, remote monitoring system power and communications, gathering appropriate meteorological data, and maintaining reliability in harsh winter climates. Political challenges are also a reality when handling such an abundance of data. Consultants representing competing interests can sometimes draw different conclusions. However, this sharing of information and communication, if executed well, can help to strengthen the credibility of the final conclusions to a skeptical audience. We’re very excited to be part of this conference, and look forward to learning how the rest of the world deals with wind turbine noise and the many research areas being studied.