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A laboratory study on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep: results of the polysomnographic WiTNES study
Author: Smith, Michael; Ögren, Mikael; Thorsson, Pontus; Hussain-Alkhateeb, Laith; Pedersen, Eja; Forssén, Jens; Ageborg Morsing, Julia; and Persson Waye, Kerstin
Study Objectives: Assess the physiologic and self-reported effects of wind turbine noise (WTN) on sleep.
Methods: Laboratory sleep study (n = 50 participants: n = 24 living close to wind turbines and n = 26 as a reference group) using polysomnography, electrocardiography, salivary cortisol, and questionnaire endpoints. Three consecutive nights (23:00–07:00): one habituation followed by a randomized quiet Control and an intervention night with synthesized 32 dB LAEq WTN. Noise in WTN nights simulated closed and ajar windows and low and high amplitude modulation depth.
Results: There was a longer rapid eye movement (REM) sleep latency (+16.8 min) and lower amount of REM sleep (−11.1 min, −2.2%) in WTN nights. Other measures of objective sleep did not differ significantly between nights, including key indicators of sleep disturbance (sleep efficiency: Control 86.6%, WTN 84.2%; wakefulness after sleep onset: Control 45.2 min, WTN 52.3 min; awakenings: Control n = 11.4, WTN n = 11.5) or the cortisol awakening response. Self-reported sleep was consistently rated as worse following WTN nights, and individuals living close to wind turbines had worse self-reported sleep in both the Control and WTN nights than the reference group.
Conclusions: Amplitude-modulated continuous WTN may impact on self-assessed and some aspects of physiologic sleep. Future studies are needed to generalize these findings outside of the laboratory and should include more exposure nights and further examine possible habituation or sensitization.
Michael G. Smith, Mikael Ögren, Pontus Thorsson, Laith Hussain-Alkhateeb, Eja Pedersen, Jens Forssén, Julia Ageborg Morsing and Kerstin Persson Waye
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg; Division of Applied Acoustics, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg; Akustikverkstan, Lidköping; and Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Sleep, Volume 43, Issue 9, 1 September 2020, zsaa046, doi:10.1093/sleep/zsaa046
Download original document: “A laboratory study on the effects of wind turbine noise on sleep: results of the polysomnographic WiTNES study”
Author: Refoyo Román, Pablo; Olmedo Salinas, Cristina; and Muñoz Araújo, Benito
Energy production by wind turbines has many advantages. The wind is a renewable energy that does not emit greenhouse gases and has caused a considerable increase in wind farms around the world. However, this type of energy is not completely free of impact. In particular, wind turbines displace and kill a wide variety of wild species what forces us to plan their location well. In any case, the determination of the effects of wind farms on fauna, especially the flying one, is difficult to determine and depends on several factors. In this work, we will try to establish a mathematical algorithm that allows us to combine all variables that affect the species with the idea of quantifying the effect that can be caused by the installation of a wind farm with certain characteristics in a given place. We have considered specific parameters of wind farms, the most relevant environmental characteristics related to the location of the wind farm, and morphological, ethological, and legal characteristics in the species. Two types of assessment are established for the definitive valuation: Total Assessment and Weighted Assessment. Total Valuation is established based on a reference scale that will allow us to establish categories of affection for the different species while Weighted Valuation allows us to establish which species are most affected.
Pablo Refoyo Román, Cristina Olmedo Salinas, and Benito Muñoz Araújo
Biodiversity, Ecology & Evolution Department, Biological Sciences Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Scientific Reports (2020) 10:14785
Download original document: “Assessing-effect-wind-farms-fauna”
Bird collisions at wind turbines in a mountainous area related to bird movement intensities measured by radar
Author: Aschwanden, Janine; et al.
Bird collisions at wind turbines are perceived to be an important conservation issue. To determine mitigation actions such as temporary shutdown of wind turbines when bird movement intensities are high, knowledge of the relationship between the number of birds crossing an area and the number of collisions is essential. Our aim was to combine radar data on bird movement intensities with collision data from a systematic carcass search.
We used a dedicated bird radar, located near a wind farm in a mountainous area, to continuously record bird movement intensities from February to mid-November 2015. In addition, we searched the ground below three wind turbines (Enercon E-82) for carcasses on 85 dates and considered three established correction factors to extrapolate the number of collisions.
The extrapolated number of collisions was 20.7 birds/wind turbine (CI-95%: 14.3–29.6) for 8.5 months. Nocturnally migrating passerines, especially kinglets (Regulus spp.), represented 55% of the fatalities. 2.1% of the birds theoretically exposed to a collision (measured by radar at the height of the wind turbines) were effectively colliding.
Collisions mainly occurred during migration and affected primarily nocturnal migrants. It was not possible to assign the fatalities doubtlessly to events with strong migration. Fresh-looking carcasses were found after nights with both strong and weak bird movement intensities, indicating fatalities are not restricted to mass movement events (onshore). Rather, it is likely that an important factor influencing collision risk is limited visibility due to weather conditions. Local and regional visibility should be considered in future studies and when fine-tuning shutdown systems for wind turbines.
Janine Aschwanden, Herbert Stark, Dieter Peter, Thomas Steuri, Baptiste Schmid, Felix Liechti
Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland
Volume 220, April 2018, Pages 228-236
Author: Infinity Power Partners
Download original document: “Easement for Wind Energy Development: Triple H Wind Project”