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Resource Documents by Swinbanks, Malcolm

Swinbanks, Malcolm; and Australia Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
Malcolm Swinbanks before the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
Dr Swinbanks:  Just briefly, I will review the submission that I made. I addressed four separate issues: first of all, the physical mechanisms for generating low-frequency sound and infrasound; secondly, the mechanisms by which people can perceive such infrasound; thirdly, I commented on the health effects and, in particular, two reports relating to these supposed health effects or the absence of them; and, finally, I gave an account of my own personal experience of adverse effects I have encountered when . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm; and Australia Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines
Malcolm Swinbanks: Questions Taken on Notice
Q1. You mention the NASA wind turbine research of the 1980s. Is that relevant to the type of wind turbines used today? Research into very large (multi-megawatt) wind turbines began at NASA in 1975. Much of this work was undertaken by very competent aero-acousticians, drawing on experience gained in the context of propeller and jet-engine development, and which has successfully resulted in substantial improvements in aero-engine noise. They identified at an early stage why the existing “downwind rotor” turbines were . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
Direct Experience of Low-Frequency Noise and Infrasound within a Windfarm Community
The author first became aware of the adverse health problems associated with infrasound many years ago in 1974, when an aero-engine manufacturer approached him to consider the problems that office personnel were experiencing close to engine test facilities. He had been conducting research into the active control of sound, and the question was posed as to whether active sound control could be used to address this problem. At that time, this research was in its infancy, and the scale of . . . Complete article »

James, Richard; Swinbanks, Malcolm; and Rand, Robert
E-mail messages from acoustic consultants and researchers to Steven Cooper and colleagues
These e-mails were exchanged among acoustic consultants and researchers in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia regarding claims by wind developer Pacific Hydro and others that acousticians/noise engineers are not qualified to determine cause and effect of human perceptions and therefore physiological and psychological responses to sound energy. The comments by Pacific Hydro trying to limit the expertise of acousticians and noise engineers followed the public release of a review of, and strong endorsement of, Steven Cooper’s acoustic survey at . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
Audibility of Low Frequency Wind Turbine Noise
Abstract. Conventional assessment of the audibility of low-frequency wind-turbine noise has usually relied on direct graphical comparison between the hearing threshold, and narrow-band or 1/3 octave wind-turbine spectra. But the hearing threshold is defined using single, isolated pure-tone test signals, whereas the latter spectra represent a measure of broadband rms energy which inevitably varies in amplitude according to the precise measurement bandwidth. Since these two measures are derived according to two entirely different measurement conventions, any direct, unqualified comparison between . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
Can expectations produce symptoms from infrasound associated with wind turbines?
A Brief Peer Review of “Can Expectations Produce Symptoms From Infrasound Associated With Wind Turbines?” by Fiona Crichton, George Dodd, Gian Schmid, Greg Gamble & Keith J. Petrie, Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, March 2013 [download] The only information relating to the wind turbine infrasound simulation is that it was conducted at 40dB at 5Hz, test conditions which are essentially a complete non-event and which might just as well have been classed as “Sham”. So it is hardly surprising that . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
Infrasound from wind turbines – letter from Malcolm Swinbanks
In his 2006 Canadian paper relating to infrasound and wind turbines, Leventhall criticised Dr Nina Pierpont for having referred to the impulsive noise from wind-turbines as “infrasound”, arguing that the relevant paper that she had quoted by G.P. van den Berg did not relate to infrasound at all, but only to dBA levels. In 2003 & 2004, G.P. van den Berg actually published two separate papers, both relating to the specific windfarm in Holland that he (van den Berg) had . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
Numerical simulation of infrasound perception, with reference to prior reported laboratory effects
Abstract. In earlier presentations, the author has argued that conventional assessments of the perception of infrasound based on mean (rms derived) sound energy levels underestimate the importance of the associated crest factor of very low frequency sound pressure variations. By simulating the dynamic response of the ear at levels close to the hearing threshold, it is apparent that infrasound may be perceptible at lower levels than those based on long time constant rms assessment. In particular, it will be shown . . . Complete article »

Swinbanks, Malcolm
NASA-Langley Wind-Turbine Noise Research
to the Michigan WERZB Board, Case no. U-15899 NASA-Langley Wind-Turbine Research, 1980-1990 Following my letter to the MPSC, I returned to the UK over the Christmas break, which enabled me to access papers from conferences I had attended in the 1980’s. Specifically, NASA-Langley, probably the foremost aeroacoustic research organization in the world, carried out and published extensive research on wind-turbine noise, starting with their first computer predictive codes in 1980, and continuing through 1990. During this period, NASA & NASA . . . Complete article »

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