Resource Documents: Noise (375 items)
Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided 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.
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Author: Verheijen, Edwin; Jabben, Jan; Schreurs, Eric; and Smith, Kevin
The Dutch government aims at an increase of wind energy up to 6 000 MW in 2020 by placing new wind turbines on land or offshore. At the same time, the existing noise legislation for wind turbines is being reconsidered. For the purpose of establishing a new noise reception limit value expressed in Lden, the impact of wind turbine noise under the given policy targets needs to be explored. For this purpose, the consequences of different reception limit values for the new Dutch noise legislation have been studied, both in terms of effects on the population and regarding sustainable energy policy targets. On the basis of a nation-wide noise map containing all wind turbines in The Netherlands, it is calculated that 3% of the inhabitants of The Netherlands are currently exposed to noise from wind turbines above 28 dB(A) at the façade. Newly established dose-response relationships indicate that about 1500 of these inhabitants are likely to be severely annoyed inside their dwellings. The available space for new wind turbines strongly depends on the noise limit value that will be chosen. This study suggests an outdoor A-weighted reception limit of Lden = 45 dB as a trade-off between the need for protection against noise annoyance and the feasibility of national targets for renewable energy.
Noise Health. 2011 Nov-Dec;13(55):459-63
Edwin Verheijen, Jan Jabben, Eric Schreurs, Kevin B. Smith
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Centre for Environmental Monitoring, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Author: Berglund, Birgitta; Hassmén, Peter; and Soames Job, R.F.
The sources of human exposure to low-frequency noise and its effects are reviewed. Low-frequency noise is common as background noise in urban environments, and as an emission from many artificial sources: road vehicles, aircraft, industrial machinery, artillery and mining explosions, and air movement machinery including wind turbines, compressors, and ventilation or air-conditioning units. The effects of low-frequency noise are of particular concern because of its pervasiveness due to numerous sources, efficient propagation, and reduced efficacy of many structures (dwellings, walls, and hearing protection) in attenuating low-frequency noise compared with other noise. Intense low-frequency noise appears to produce clear symptoms including respiratory impairment and aural pain. Although the effects of lower intensities of low-frequency noise are difficult to establish for methodological reasons, evidence suggests that a number of adverse effects of noise in general arise from exposure to low-frequency noise: Loudness judgments and annoyance reactions are sometimes reported to be greater for low-frequency noise than other noises for equal sound-pressure level; annoyance is exacerbated by rattle or vibration induced by low-frequency noise; speech intelligibility may be reduced more by low-frequency noise than other noises except those in the frequency range of speech itself, because of the upward spread of masking. On the other hand, it is also possible that low-frequency noise provides some protection against the effects of simultaneous higher frequency noise on hearing. Research needs and policy decisions, based on what is currently known, are considered.
J Acoust Soc Am. 1996 May;99(5):2985-3002.
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute and Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
R. F. Soames Job
Department of Psychology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Author: Alimohammadi, I.; Sandrock, S.; and Gohari, M.R.
Alimohammadi I, Sandrock S, Gohari MR.
Occupational Health Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, email@example.com.
Low frequency noise (LFN) as background noise in urban and work environments is emitted from many artificial sources such as road vehicles, aircraft, and air movement machinery including wind turbines, compressors, and ventilation or air conditioning units. In addition to objective effects, LFN could also cause noise annoyance and influence mental performance; however, there are no homogenous findings regarding this issue. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of LFN on mental performance and annoyance, as well as to consider the role of extraversion and neuroticism on the issue. This study was conducted on 90 students of Iran University of Medical Sciences (54 males and 36 females). The mean age of the students was 23.46 years (SD = 1.97). Personality traits and noise annoyance were measured by using Eysenck Personality Inventory and a 12-scale self-reported questionnaire, respectively. Stroop and Cognitrone computerized tests measured mental performance of participants each exposed to 50 and 70 dBA of LFN and silence. LFNs were produced by Cool Edit Pro 2.1 software. There was no significant difference between mental performance parameters under 50 and 70 dBA of LFN, whereas there were significant differences between most mental performance parameters in quiet and under LFN (50 and 70 dBA). This research showed that LFN, compared to silence, increased the accuracy and the test performance speed (p < 0.01). There was no association between LFN and noise annoyance (p > 0.01). Introverts conducted the tests faster than extraverts (p < 0.05). This research showed that neuroticism does not influence mental performance. It seems that LFN has increased arousal level of participants, and extraversion has a considerable impact on mental performance.
Environ Monit Assess. 2013 Jan 22. doi:10.1007/s10661-013-3084-8
The Impact of Low Frequency Noise on Human Mental Performance
Małgorzata Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska, Adam Dudarewicz, Małgorzata Waszkowska, Wiesław Szymczak, and Mariola Śliwińska-Kowalska
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2005;18(2):185-198
Assessment of annoyance due to wind turbine noise.
Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska M, Dudarewicz A, Zaborowski K, Zamojska M, Waszkowska M.
Abstract: The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the perception and annoyance of noise from wind turbines in populated areas of Poland. The study group comprised 378 subjects. All subjects were interviewed using a questionnaire developed to enable evaluation of their living conditions, including prevalence of annoyance due to noise from wind turbines, and the self-assessment of physical health and well-being. In addition, current mental health status of respondents was assessed using Goldberg General Health Questionnaire GHQ-12. For areas where respondents lived, A-weighted sound pressure levels (SPLs) were calculated as the sum of the contributions from the wind power plants in the specific area. It has been shown that the wind turbine noise at the calculated A-weighted SPL of 30-50 dB was perceived as annoying outdoors by about one third of respondents, while indoors by one fifth of them. The proportions of the respondents annoyed by the wind turbine noise increased with increasing A-weighted sound pressure level. Subjects’ attitude to wind turbines in general and sensitivity to landscape littering was found to have significant impact on the perceived annoyance. Further studies are needed, including a larger number of respondents, before firm conclusions can be drawn.
J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3450. doi:10.1121/1.4806110
Wind turbine sound prediction — The consequence of getting it wrong.
Abstract: The application to permit a wind turbine power development usually involves submission of a prediction for the sound level that will occur at residences, schools, places of worship, and elsewhere people gather for restorative rest. This paper uses the example of a wind power development, and follows iterations taken to finalize the sound level prediction. The paper provides quantitative information collected since the start up of the wind power development on measured sound levels and octave band distribution; and qualitative observations on the special characteristics of the sound. Actual observations are compared to the predictions. More importantly, the paper reviews the consequences self-reported in qualitative interviews by citizens living with the changed environment after four years of operation of the wind power development. Reported impacts included difficulty sleeping, loss of jobs, and changes to social relationships, caregiving, pursuit of hobbies, leisure, learning, and overall health. Changes in measured health outcomes are identified. Both the quantitative and qualitative findings justify revision of the permitting process.
J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3419. doi:10.1121/1.4805992
Generation of wind turbine noise signature for use in lab environment.
Zosuls A, Kelley RM, Mountain D, Grace S.
Abstract: The fact that wind turbines produce infrasound continues to draw attention and discussion. Some argue that while the infrasound level produced by wind turbines is quite low, it still may be affecting the vestibular system or the hearing system, particularly via activation of the outer hair cells. Others hypothesize that the infrasound may be inducing whole body, chest cavity, or other human organ resonance. In order to study these hypotheses, it is first necessary to be able to recreate the turbine noise signature in a lab environment. Thus, the goal of this work is to create an acoustic system that can produce low-level infrasound. The system requirements include low cost, high fidelity, and imperceptible structural coupling to the lab. In addition, the system must be able to produce a broadband spectrum as well as a single tone. Progress toward the design of this audio system is discussed in this paper.
J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3419. doi:10.1121/1.4805991
Amplitude modulation of audible sounds by non-audible sounds: Understanding the effects of wind turbine noise.
Lichtenhan J, Salt A.
Abstract: Our research has suggested a number of mechanisms by which low-frequency noise could bother individuals living near wind turbines: causing endolymphatic hydrops, exciting subconscious pathways, and amplitude modulation of audible sounds. Here we focus on the latter mechanism, amplitude modulation. We measured single-auditory-nerve fiber responses to probe tones at their characteristic frequency in cats. A 50 Hz tone, which did not cause an increase in spontaneous firing rate (i.e., was not audible to the fiber when presented alone) was used to amplitude modulate responses to the probe tone. We found that as probe frequency decreased, a lower level of the low-frequency non-audible tone was needed to achieve criterion amplitude modulation. In other words, low-frequencies that are coded in the cochlear apex require less low-frequency sound pressure level to be amplitude modulated as compared to higher-frequencies that are coded in the cochlear base. This finding was validated, and extended to lower frequencies, by amplitude modulating gross measures of onset-synchronous (compound action potentials) and phase-synchronous (auditory nerve overlapped waveforms) in guinea pigs. Our results suggest that that infrasound generated by wind turbines may cause amplitude modulation of audible sounds, which is often the basis for complaints from those living near wind turbines.
J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3419. doi:10.1121/1.4805990
Model for underwater noise radiated by submerged wind turbine towers.
Hay T, Ilinskii YA, Zabolotskaya EA, Hamilton MF.
Abstract: Sustained tonal noise radiated by towers supporting offshore wind turbines contains energy in frequency bands that may disturb marine mammals, or interfere with passive sonar and seismic sensors and underwater communication equipment. Understanding the generation and propagation of underwater noise due to the operation of wind farms is important for determining strategies for mitigating the environmental impact of these noise sources. An analytic model based on a Green’s function approach was previously developed for the sound radiated in the water column by a pulsating cylindrical structure embedded in horizontally stratified layers of viscoelastic sediment [Hay et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 130, 2558 (2011)]. This model has since been adapted to include relaxation and viscous losses in seawater and empirical loss factors for the sedimentary layers. In order to validate the model simulations were compared with reported measurements collected near an operating wind turbine that include radial acceleration of the tower, taken to be the source condition, and sound pressure levels in the water column. For long-range propagation over range-dependent environments, the analytic model has been coupled to a parabolic equation code. Simulations are presented for several bathymetries, sediment types, and tower array configurations. [Work supported by Department of Energy DE-EE0005380.].
J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 May;133(5):3396. doi:10.1121/1.4805903