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Resource Documents by Palmer, William

Palmer, William
Confirming Tonality at Residences Influenced by Wind Turbines
Abstract. For 5 years, since the start-up of an array of 140 wind turbines, residents have filed complaints with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (the regulator), and K2 Wind (the operator). Residents complained that the turbines produce a tonal sound, and that the irritation this produced impacted their sleep, their health, and the enjoyment of their property. To confirm tonality from the wind turbines, this research examined over 200 data examples from two families. These families collected data by . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Wind Turbine Public Safety Risk, Direct and Indirect Health Impacts
Abstract — Wind turbines are often perceived as benign. This can be attributed to the population majority dwelling in urban locations distant from most wind turbines. Society may understate the risk to individuals living near turbines due to an overstatement of the perceived benefits of turbines, and an understatement of the risk of injury from falling turbine parts, or shed ice. Flaws in risk calculation may be attributed to a less than fully developed safety culture. Indications of this are . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Why wind turbine sounds are annoying, and why it matters
Abstract — Almost without hesitation, most people can identify a sound that is annoying to them, whether it might be fingernails on a chalkboard, a barking dog late at night, a mosquito buzzing in their ear, or their own particular example. Classic acoustics texts identify key points related to annoyance. These “special characteristics of noise” include tonality, a non-random cyclical nature, pitch, roughness, rise time, and dominance of noise during sleeping hours when environmental noises diminish. A new source of . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Rigorous Method of Addressing Wind Turbine Noise
Numerous papers, including some by this author, have identified what are dismissed with disdain as “anecdotal reports” of adverse impacts that occurred with the start up of wind turbines in the environment of those impacted. However, there is a solid basis for presenting such lists. It mirrors the approach taken by most medical doctors when a patient first presents himself or herself with a new adverse health complaint. Taking a patient “history” is the way most doctors begin. Similarly, engineers . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Considerations regarding an acoustic criterion for wind turbine acceptability
Introduction. A common regulatory acceptance criterion for wind turbine installation in Canada is that sound pressure level does not exceed 40 dBA outside a home when the wind speed at 10 metres elevation does not exceed 4 metres per second. A clue to the ineffectiveness of this criterion can be seen from over 2700 complaints filed in Ontario with regulators by residents living in homes where acoustic conditions were predicted in approved models to comply with the current criterion. Residents . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Wind Turbines – A Changed Environment
This paper gives examples of the sound from wind turbines in the outdoor environment, and in the indoor environment. These are compared to other sounds occurring in the environment, such as road traffic or overhead aircraft, and to the sounds produced in a typical municipal library and by a typical refrigerator. In summary, the paper shows that wind turbines do alter the acoustic environment, both outside homes and inside homes presenting a greater difference at low frequencies than other sound . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Wind Turbine Annoyance – a clue from acoustic room modes
Abstract When one admits that they do not know all the answers and sets out to listen to the stories of people annoyed by wind turbines, the clues can seem confusing. Why would some people report that they could get a better night’s sleep in an outdoor tent, rather than their bedroom? Others reported that they could sleep better in the basement recreation room of their home, than in bedrooms. That made little sense either. A third mysterious clue came . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Impact of bad choices for climate change mitigation
Presented at: 3rd Climate Change Technology Conference, May 27-29, 2013, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec This presentation will show the necessity to research beyond the simplistic impressions that are too often used to justify major public policy decisions when selecting choices. We will see that what may seem to be an obvious choice can actually have produce the wrong results. Instead of aiding the environment, the wrong choice can hurt the environment, and the public. Bad choices do have adverse impacts. . . . Complete article »

James, Richard; Punch, Jerry; McCann, Michael; Schaffner, Milo; and Palmer, William
Application of Champaign Wind: Submitted Documents
For all case documents and public comments, go to: Download original documents: Richard James, acoustical engineer Jerry Punch, audiologist Michael McCann, real estate appraiser and consultant Milo Schaffner, farmer and trustee, Hoaglin Township William Palmer, engineer Exhibits B-K (Palmer) Exhibits L-Z (Palmer) Complete article »

Palmer, William
Collecting data on wind turbine sound to identify causes of identified concerns
Regulations for wind turbines are generally based on A-weighted sound levels, and typical sound spectrums in the community from a localized source. Regulatory limits are based on levels believed to cause little annoyance. Large industrial wind turbines are a sound emitter that present a spatially distributed source principally arising close to the blade tips, rotating 50 to 150 metres overhead so that sound arises from a wide area. They pose a relatively new source of sound to communities, particularly the . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Learning from Evidence of Sound Experienced from Wind Turbines
1. INTRODUCTION Wind turbine sound regulations are generally based on A-weighted sound levels, reducing the effect of frequencies outside 500-11,000 Hz by more than 3 dB. Wind turbine sound predominates at lower frequencies where human audibility and physiological response still exists. Regulatory limits are not intended to pose annoyance, yet placement of wind turbines near homes is reported to cause significant annoyance, sleep deprivation, and adverse effects. Large industrial wind turbines produce a unique sound signature, cyclical in both amplitude . . . Complete article »

Palmer, William
Changes in Wind Turbine Setbacks
Note that Setbacks can have both physical safety rationale – for reasons of potential injury – and noise rationale – for reasons of annoyance and health effects United Kingdom Derek Taylor, 1991, “How to Plan the Nuisance Out of Wind Energy”, suggested setback from wind turbines with a 30 metre rotor to roadways and lot lines, of 50 metres adequate to a lightly traveled road, 100 metres to a heavily traveled road, and 120 to 170 metres to a home [4-5.7 times rotor . . . Complete article »

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