Documents filed under Noise
This important paper presented at the Acoustical Society of America 164th Meeting (Oct 2012) examines how the ear’s two‐part transducer activity involving inner hair cells (IHC, hearing, velocity sensitive) and outer hair cells (OHC, displacement‐sensitive) may respond to signals at up to 40 dB below the audibility threshold and produce behavioral and physiological effects as reported by a growing number of people. This finding is important and applicable to responses to effects from sound that is not directly audible. This is a new sound quality and psychoacoustic issue. The introduction and conclusions of this paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.
This important paper published in Noise & Health, a bi-monthly Inter-disciplinary International Journal, examines the health impacts of wind turbine noise on individuals living nearby. The abstract and conclusion of the paper appear below. The full paper can be accessed at the link at the bottom of this page.
This important paper by acoustics expert, Steven Cooper, challenges the current standards for siting wind turbines in Australia.
This peer-reviewed report written by the Acoustics Group in Australia evaluates the noise impact assessment for the Collector wind farm proposed to be built in New South Wales. The project will have up to 68 turbines but the turbine make and model is still undetermined. Three turbine makes and models were considered: Suzlon S88-2.1MW, V3; REpower 3.4M 104; Siemens SWT-2.3-101. The introduction and conclusion of the report is shown below. The full report, with appendices, can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Abstract Wind turbines produce sound that is capable of disturbing local residents and is reported to cause annoyance, sleep disturbance, and other health-related impacts. An acoustical study was conducted to investigate the presence of infrasonic and low-frequency noise emissions from wind turbines located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA. During the study, the investigating acousticians experienced adverse health effects consistent with those reported by some Falmouth residents. The authors conclude that wind turbine acoustic energy was found to be greater than or uniquely distinguishable from the ambient background levels and capable of exceeding human detection thresholds. The authors emphasize the need for epidemiological and laboratory research by health professionals and acousticians concerned with public health and well-being to develop effective and precautionary setback distances for industrial wind turbines that protect residents from wind turbine sound. A portiion of the report is provided below. Click the links on this page to access the full paper.
These comments were submitted to Health Canada in reference to the design of the Health Canada Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study and to inform the Health Canada study team and others about the serious harm that has occurred to a family exposed to an industrial wind energy project. The full report can accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
This article provides a useful primer on wind turbine noise issues as seen in Maine and New England. A portion of the article is provided below. The full article can be downloaded by clicking the document links located on this page. The article was commissioned by Maine Rural Partners on behalf of the Maine towns of Blue Hill, Brooklin and Sedgwick and funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
This paper by acoustician, Dr. Malcolm Swinbanks, was presented at the Internoise 2012 conference held in New York City in August 19-22, 2012. Dr. Swinbanks explains how the method of determining the threshold of hearing for humans, which involves presenting single individual tones to a test subject and establishing the level at which such tones first become audible, fails to address how humans perceive sounds which consist of a multiplicity of simultaneous components, both broadband noise and multiple tones or harmonics. In this paper he explains how a pure sinusoidal test tone has a low crest factor, while more complex sound signals often possess higher crest factors, with the result that they may penetrate the threshold even though their mean square energy is less than 0dB (i.e. inaudible). The abstract and conclusions of the paper are provided below. Dr. Swinbanks' full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Dr. Alec Salt, a expert on human ear physiology at the Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory of Washington University in St. Louis examined the effect of low-frequency, inaudible sound, on human health. In particular, Dr. Salt investigated the very low frequency sounds and infrasound (below 20 Hz) produced by industrial-scale wind turbines. His paper as presented at the Inter-sound 2012 conference can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
Australian acoustician Steven Cooper examines the responsibility of Members of the Australian Acoustical Society to a community where people are forced to leave their homes because of wind farm "noise". His technical note can be accessed by clicking at the links at the bottom of this page.
This useful analysis examines many of the key issues raised before the Courts in the United Kingdom regarding wind turbine noise nuisance cases. An excerpt of the paper is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
This important document critiques the ETSU-R-97 environmental assessment of noise from wind turbines in the United Kingdom. The ETSU-R-97 was written by a Noise Working Group (NWG) set up in 1995 by the Department of Trade and Industry through ETSU (the Energy Technology Support Unit). The noise policy is still in effect today and followed by wind developers outside of the United Kingdom.
This brief filed by sleep expert, Dr. Christopher Hanning, reviews the potential consequences of wind turbine noise and, in particular, its effect on sleep and health and to make recommendations with regard to minimum setback distances. Dr. Hanning considers whether, in the absence of new national guidance should there be minimum or recommended separation distances between commercial scale wind developments and residential properties and other sensitive developments?”
Researchers at UCLA in the Departments of Neuroscience, Integrative Biology & Physiology, and the Ecology & Evolitionary Biology released this paper which provides important insight into the effects of wind turbine infrasound and the human ear. The introduction and conclusion of this study are provided below. The full report can be accessed at the links at the bottom of this page.
The Falmouth Massachusetts Health Department send this letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health requesting the Mass DPH immediately initiate a health assessment of the impacts of the operation of wind turbines in the town.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced that one of the two turbines sited in Falmouth exceeds noise levels permitted under State law. The letter from the MassDEP confirming the findings of a sound survey as well as the study report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page. An excerpt of the MassDEP letter is provided below.
The memo, prepared by a West Virginia Public Service Commission staff attorney, recommends the PSC investigate the noise complaints filed at the Pinnacle wind energy facility. Pinnacle Wind LLC has asked that the complaint be dismissed.
THe map shown in this document highlights the locations where residents of Falmouth, Massachusetts have filed formal complaints due to turbine noise. The map represents the period from July 2011 to March 2012.
The government of South Australia issued two series of "Wind farms environmental noise guidelines" in 2003 and 2009, aiming to balance the advantage of wind energy development in South Australia with the protection of amenity of the surrounding commmity from adverse noise impacts. This briefing paper sums up a study undertaken during 2011 evaluating the efficiency and adequacy of these guidelines.
This paper addresses the issues of wind energy policy where it violates the basic living environment of families and the adverse health effects of wind turbine noise. It also assesses the considerable number of anecdotal reports from people living with wind turbine noise. Although there are many who dismiss anecdotal reports as inconsequential or meaningless, these reports are from real people, living with real problems, often with no recourse: They put 'the human face on science'. The authors examine how this translates into a human rights issue, as government policy assigns more credibility to acousticians' reports than to medical evidence, and assigns more importance to renewable energy policy than to the individual lives injured by that policy.