Library filed under Noise
BACKGROUND: Over the past two decades, the increasing and unregulated production of infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN, ≤200 Hz) has led to a considerable rise in associated noise complaints and health-related issues. The most recent of such ILFN sources are industrial wind turbines (IWT). Acoustical field-data was collected within a home located in the vicinity of IWT, to which the AUC Rule 012 and its requirements were applied. In Ontario, IWT noise complaints were gathered under the Freedom of Information legislation. Goal: To explore the usefulness of current noise control rules when protecting human populations against ILFN generated by IWT.
This video recording taken at the Bald Hills wind energy facility in Victoria Australia demonstrates the noise emissions from the project. The video was taken on September 26, 2018 and should be listened to with high-quality headphones. The project was constructed by Senvion and includes 52 Senvion MM92 (2.05 MW) turbines with hub heights of 80 meters and rotor diameters of 92 meters. The full 106.6 MW facility was placed in service in May 2015. This video is part of a noise compliance study conducted by acoustician, Dr Bob Thorne. Dr. Thorne found that the turbines were operating at noise levels that exceeded the approved levels and that sleep disturbance and intrusive noise and nuisance conditions existed at nearby homes. The full Thorne report can be found at this link.
“The prevalence of AM has not been widely reported either in Australia or worldwide, although it’s well known that it results in increased annoyance in listening tests – and has also been cited in complaints from residents living near wind farms,” says Dr Hansen, who led the study. An audible indoor low-frequency tone was amplitude modulated at the blade-pass frequency for 20% of time at 2.4km. Audible AM also occurred for a similar percentage of the day over a broad range of wind farm power outputs of between 40% and 85% of total capacity.
The report's authors, led by research fellow Kristy Hansen, said the findings "have important implications for possible sleep disruption" from wind farms, particularly in quiet rural areas, and further work was warranted. More research was also needed to determine the year-round prevalence of audible wind turbine pulsing, as well as to quantify the extent to which people find the noise annoying, the report said.
“Up to now, resident complaints have been largely ignored by the Ministry. The documents we received showed the response rate had actually declined, and the Ministry did not seem prepared to take any action at all against the wind power operators, who are classified as the ‘Client’ in Ministry documents.
In addition to the company, board members heard from residents, including Nicole Valliere, who purchased the house immediately next door to the Pacheco property for $925,000 in March. Valliere told board members she was not aware of the turbine plans until after the sale closed and would never have purchased the property if the information was available. “We had no idea this was happening,” she said. “We never, ever, ever would’ve purchased our home.”
I am starting to wonder if a mystery noise around our house which drove us mad for months comes from the same box of tricks as wind farm turbines. A public petition raised in Scotland is trying to force the UK Government to investigate claims mysterious acoustic activity around wind farms is making people ill.
A Galloway resident has launched a petition calling for the full health implications of wind farms to be investigated before any more are built. Paul Swift said: “Thousands of people are living within 20 kilometres (12 miles) of a wind turbine and they may be suffering from health issues created by “infrasound.”
One of those conclusions is a clear link between medicine use and noise levels from wind turbines, said Aslak Harbo Poulsen, a researcher with the Danish Cancer Society. “Our studies have found that there is, certainly amongst older people, a link between wind turbine noise that can be measured outdoors and the likelihood of using a prescription for medicine to treat depression or difficulty sleeping,” Poulsen said.
The wind industry is heavily invested in a propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the public that wind turbine noise is safe at any distance. ...but the damage from turbines can no longer be ignored. There are enough turbines operating worldwide, and enough people impacted, for the public to recognize turbine noise is intrusive and potentially harmful to neighbors.
A public hearing for Vineyard Wind’s proposed undersea cables that would run through Edgartown waters was cut off abruptly after several heated exchanges at a Martha’s Vineyard Commission meeting Thursday night.
Video by the German Association for Noise Pollution Protection of Humans and Animals (Deutsche Schutz-Gemeinschaft Schall für Mensch und Tier - DSGS e.V.). English translation by NA-PAW.org — Subtitles by Friends-Against-Wind.org. “Unexplained medical emergencies and illness. As in the case of increased medical emergencies, accidents, and psychological symptoms with foehn (hot southerly winds on the northern slopes of the Alps [translator: similar to Chinooks]), the same is true for residents near wind turbines.”
The pilot study carried out in Satakunta and Northern Ostrobothnia in Finland shows that the damage caused by infrasound from wind power plants will only decrease significantly more than 15 kilometers away from wind turbines. The study was carried out by the Finnish Association for Environmental Health (SYTe) in the spring 2016. A portion of the study's results is provided below. The full report (in English) can be found at the document links on this page.
A group of seven wind turbines in Johnston was just turned on in January, yet they’re already causing some blowback from neighbors across the city line in Cranston. "It's a little unnerving that all of a sudden, 519-foot structures can end up right near your home, and no one knows anything,” said Renee Petrone, who lives in the Alpine Estates neighborhood of Cranston and can clearly see the turbines from her home.
Moreno-Caballero calls for even more stringent noise limits at night: “An outdoor limit of 45 dBA during the nighttime may not be sufficiently protective if residents have open windows, a condition that may occur during the summer and as a result outdoor limits should be between 40 dBA to 42 dBA Leq-8-hour.” No recommendation was made for average night noise exposure of wind turbines in the WHO-2018 guidelines as currently “quality of evidence … is too low to allow a recommendation.”
In his comments, Punch voiced his concerns over low-frequency sound emitted by industrial wind turbines, commonly known as infrasound. According to Punch’s research, the turbines used in wind farm developments can have negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health.
Cranston isn’t the only Rhode Island community concerned about the impacts of siting wind turbines close to neighborhoods. Some residents of Coventry have complained of shadow flicker and noise from the 10 414-foot-tall turbines in their rural village of Greene. They say the utility-scale facility isn’t consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan and has dramatically changed the village’s long-established characteristics.
Audiologist Dr. Jerry Punch, a professor emeritus in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, submitted comments in regard to a wind energy facility before the Ohio Power Siting Board. Dr. Punch's comments focus on the impacts of wind turbines noise on human health. A portion of his comments are provided below. His complete letter can be downloaded at the links on this page.
"Specifically, while the plaintiffs are outside on their property, they are confronted with irritating and unabated audible noise which significantly limits the use and enjoyment of their property and results in annoyance, along with other symptoms..." one of the complaints states. The New Creek Mountain Sportsman's Club claims its members suffer from headaches, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, hearing problems and other issues while on the hunting lodge's property.