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Resource Documents: Impacts (128 items)

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Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  September 10, 2021
Health, Noise, TaiwanPrint storyE-mail story

Effects of low-frequency noise from wind turbines on heart rate variability in healthy individuals

Author:  Chiu, Chun-Hsiang; et al.

Abstract: Wind turbines generate low-frequency noise (LFN, 20–200 Hz), which poses health risks to nearby residents. This study aimed to assess heart rate variability (HRV) responses to LFN exposure and to evaluate the LFN exposure (dB, (LAeq) inside households located near wind turbines. Thirty subjects living within a 500 m radius of wind turbines were recruited. The field campaigns for LFN (LAeq) and HRV monitoring were carried out in July and December 2018. A generalized additive mixed model was employed to evaluate the relationship between HRV changes and LFN. The results suggested that the standard deviations of all the normal to normal R–R intervals were reduced significantly, by 3.39%, with a 95% CI = (0.15%, 6.52%) per 7.86 dB (LAeq) of LFN in the exposure range of 38.2–57.1 dB (LAeq). The indoor LFN exposure (LAeq) ranged between 30.7 and 43.4 dB (LAeq) at a distance of 124–330 m from wind turbines. Moreover, households built with concrete and equipped with airtight windows showed the highest LFN difference of 13.7 dB between indoors and outdoors. In view of the adverse health impacts of LFN exposure, there should be regulations on the requisite distances of wind turbines from residential communities for health protection.

· · · · ·

LFN exposure has been found to cause a variety of health conditions. Exposure to LFN from wind turbines results in headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, aural pain sleep disturbances, and annoyance. Clinically, exposure to LFN from wind turbines may cause increased risk of epilepsy, cardiovascular effects, and coronary artery disease. It was also found that exposure to noise (including LFN) may have an impact on heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is the variation over time of the period between adjacent heartbeats, which is an indicator of the activities of the autonomic nervous system, consisting of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Autonomic imbalance usually represents a hyperactive SNS and a hypoactive PNS and results in reduced HRV. An autonomic imbalance may increase the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular diseases. A review paper indicated that road traffic noise may overactivate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPA) and sympathetic-adrenal-medullar axis (SAM), increase the blood pressure and reduce HRV, and finally affect the cardiovascular system. A recent study analyzing 658 measurements of HRV obtained from 10 healthy males (18–40 years old) indicated reductions in HRV due to environmental LFN exposure. However, few studies have specifically examined the effect of LFN from wind turbines on HRV in healthy individuals; thus, this was the aim of this study. …

Besides distance from turbines, building materials also affect indoor LFN exposure. This work assessed the indoor LFN levels for several recruited households with different building materials and open/closed windows to illustrate their potential impacts. It is known that materials have different sound absorption coefficients. The overall sound pressure level and spectrum of external noise change when transmitted to the interior of a building. Mid- and high-frequency noises are selectively attenuated by roofs and walls, causing the building structure to function like an LFN pass filter. Outdoor to indoor noise reduction generally decreases with frequency, [but variations exist] related to housing construction and room dimensions. [Below 2.5 Hz, the outdoor to indoor noise reduction is zero. (“Outdoor to indoor reduction of wind farm noise for rural residences,” Kristy Hansen, Colin Hansen, and Branko Zajamšek)] Factors contributing to indoor/outdoor noise reduction also include structural resonances, room modes, and coupling between the air volume inside the residence and the stiffness of the walls, roofs, and ceilings. 

Chun-Hsiang Chiu, Shih-Chun Candice Lung, Nathan Chen, Jing-Shiang Hwang, & Ming-Chien Mark Tsou
Research Center for Environmental Changes and Institute of Statistical Science, Academia Sinica; Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Institute of Environmental Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Scientific Reports volume 11, article number: 17817 (2021)
doi:10.1038/s41598-021-97107-8

Download original document: “Effects of low-frequency noise from wind turbines on heart rate variability in healthy individuals

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Date added:  August 19, 2021
Australia, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Evaluation of wind farm noise amplitude modulation synthesis quality

Author:  Nguyen, Phuc; Hansen, Kristy; Zajamšek, Branko; and Catcheside, PeterNguyen, Phuc; Hansen, Kristy; Zajamšek, Branko; and Catcheside, Peter

Abstract – Wind farm noise amplitude modulation (WFNAM) is a major contributor to annoyance and could cause sleep disturbance. In laboratory listening experiments assessing its annoyance and sleep disturbance potential, WFNAM stimuli are commonly synthesised and can thus suffer from a lack of ecological validity. Here, five stimuli synthesis methods were compared with measured noise in terms of their perceived similarity. An ABX discrimination listening test and one-third octave band spectra were used for evaluation of the aural and visual similarity, respectively, between the synthesised and measured noise spectra. The results showed that synthesising WFNAM using a simple method can be ecologically valid as listeners could not accurately differentiate between measured and synthesised WFNAM. However, time varying features of WFNAM do play a small but significant role in human perception and therefore hearing test evaluation of synthesis is recommended for obtaining the most ecologically valid synthesised WFNAM.

Duc Phuc Nguyen, Kristy Hansen, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Branko Zajamsek, Peter Catcheside, Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Applied Acoustics, Volume 166, September 2020, 107349.
doi:10.1016/j.apacoust.2020.107349

Download original document: “Evaluation of wind farm noise amplitude modulation synthesis quality

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Wind farm infrasound detectability and its effects on the perception of wind farm noise amplitude modulation

ABSTRACT – Some residents attribute adverse effects to the presence of wind farm (WF) infrasound. However, dominant features of windfarm noise such as infrasound, tonality and amplitude modulation span the average human hearing threshold, so attribution to infrasound is problematic. This study used a combination of pre-recorded noise stimuli, measured at 3.2 km from a wind farm, in laboratory-based listening tests to investigate human perception of infrasound and amplitude modulation at realistic sound pressure levels in a group of 14 participants. Although a small sample size warrants cautious interpretation, preliminary results suggest differential effects between self-reported non-sensitive versus noise-sensitive participants, where the latter detected infrasound above chance. Infrasound did not affect the perception of amplitude modulation. Larger studies remain needed to clarify these findings.

Duc Phuc Nguyen, Kristy Hansen, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Branko Zajamsek, Gorica Micic, Peter Catcheside, Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Presented at the Australian Acoustical Society Annual Conference, Acoustics 2019.

Download original document: “Wind farm infrasound detectability and its effects on the perception of wind farm noise amplitude modulation

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Date added:  July 21, 2021
Scotland, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Responses of dispersing GPS-tagged Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) to multiple wind farms across Scotland

Abstract: Wind farms may have two broad potential adverse effects on birds via antagonistic processes: displacement from the vicinity of turbines (avoidance), or death through collision with rotating turbine blades. Large raptors are often shown or presumed to be vulnerable to collision and are demographically sensitive to additional mortality, as exemplified by several studies of the Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos. Previous findings from Scottish Eagles, however, have suggested avoidance as the primary response. Our study used data from 59 GPS-tagged Golden Eagles with 28 284 records during natal dispersal before and after turbine operation &ly; 1 km of 569 turbines at 80 wind farms across Scotland. We tested three hypotheses using measurements of tag records’ distance from the hub of turbine locations: (1) avoidance should be evident; (2) older birds should show less avoidance (i.e. habituate to turbines); and (3) rotor diameter should have no influence (smaller diameters are correlated with a turbine’s age, in examining possible habituation). Four generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) were constructed with intrinsic habitat preference of a turbine location using Golden Eagle Topography (GET) model, turbine operation status (before/after), bird age and rotor diameter as fixed factors. The best GLMM was subsequently verified by k-fold cross-validation and involved only GET habitat preference and presence of an operational turbine. Eagles were eight times less likely to be within a rotor diameter’s distance of a hub location after turbine operation, and modelled displacement distance was 70 m. Our first hypothesis expecting avoidance was supported. Eagles were closer to turbine locations in preferred habitat but at greater distances after turbine operation. Results on bird age (no influence to 5+ years) rejected hypothesis 2, implying no habituation. Support for hypothesis 3 (no influence of rotor diameter) also tentatively inferred no habituation, but data indicated birds went slightly closer to longer rotor blades although not to the turbine tower. We proffer that understanding why avoidance or collision in large raptors may occur can be conceptually envisaged via variation in fear of humans as the ‘super predator’ with turbines as cues to this life-threatening agent.

Alan H. Fielding, Natural Research Ltd, Brathens, Aberdeenshire
David Anderson, Forestry and Land Scotland, Aberfoyle
Stuart Benn, RSPB Scotland, Inverness
Roy Dennis, Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, Forres
Matthew Geary, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester
Ewan Weston, Natural Research Ltd, Brathens, Aberdeenshire
D. Philip Whitfield, Natural Research Ltd, Brathens, Aberdeenshire

Ibis: International Journal of Avian Science
Published on line ahead of print 20 July 2021. doi: 10.1111/ibi.12996

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Date added:  July 4, 2021
California, Economics, New Mexico, Technology, Texas, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

How Green Mandates Are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity

Author:  Power the Future

On Earth Day, President Biden pledged under the Paris Climate Agreement that the United States would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in ten years (below 2005 levels). This goal is as preposterous as it is impractical. It’s clear that the Biden Administration is misleading the American people to impose the Green Agenda which includes stifling bureaucratic manipulation in every sector of the economy. Power The Future’s latest study, “Lights Out: How Green Mandates Are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity,” explores the real costs and benefits of Biden’s plan.

Biden’s Climate Envoy John Kerry has himself admitted: “Almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s global emissions come from outside of U.S. borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved.”

On this, as in little else, Kerry is right: Even assuming every signatory to the Paris Agreement (the US included, as pledged under President Obama) fulfilled its emissions commitments, the climate impact “is minuscule.” In measuring the temperature impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction would be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100. Carry those assumptions out another 70 years, and Paris would reduce temperatures by just 0.17°C by 2100.

So what can we realistically expect from the types of proposals Biden is pushing? PTF looked at the results of renewable mandates in Texas, California, and New Mexico to find out.

Based on data from those states, it is clear that Biden’s pledge under the Paris Agreement sets the country on a dangerous trajectory. Green radicals will use it to push their fever dream of a 100 percent “clean” grid, powered by sources that don’t work at night or on cloudy days. These policies destroy good-paying jobs and raise energy prices. It’s time to wake up to these realities with policies that promote fuel diversity, reliability, and affordability—before it’s too late for all of us.

Download original document: “How Green Mandates Are Undermining the Affordability and Reliability of Electricity

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