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Procedure for deriving wind turbine noise limits by taking into account annoyance 

Author:  | Health, Noise


  • The importance to consider noise annoyance in legislation is discussed.
  • Conversion curves for equally highly annoyed [HA] by different sources are presented.
  • A wind turbine noise limit of 43.1 dB(A) is derived from the conversion curves.
  • The limit is based on %HA and results are comparable with some international standards.


With the increasing installation of wind farms, the attention of citizens towards wind turbine noise (WTN) has grown. Differently from some national legislations, the scientific community has promptly responded, increasing the studies and the social surveys in order to better understand the cause of disturbance and the indicators that relate to it. At first, the paper underlines the importance of low WTN levels for indirect health effects such as sleep disturbance and annoyance. The importance to consider noise annoyance in legislation is also discussed, as WTN is more disturbing than other most common noise sources. Then, conversion curves for equally highly annoyed are introduced considering the annoyance perceived by population in relation with the type of source. Finally, a specific limit value of 43 dB(A) for WTN is derived and suggested, comparable with British and Danish standards.

Graphical abstract

Luca Fredianelli, Stefano Carpita, Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Italy
Gaetano Licitra, Environmental Protection Agency of the Tuscany Region, Livorno, Italy; National Research Council IPCF, Pisa, Italy

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 648, 15 January 2019, Pages 728-736

Download original document: “A procedure for deriving wind turbine noise limits by taking into account annoyance

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial educational 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. Queries e-mail.

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