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Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions

Given our initial experience [1] with the low-frequency impulsive noise emissions from the MOD-1 wind turbine and their impact on the surrounding community, the ability to assess the potential of inferior low-frequency annoyance in homes located near wind turbine installations may be important. Since there are currently no universally accepted metrics or descriptors for low-frequency community annoyance, we performed a limited program using volunteers to see if we could identify a method suitable for wind turbine noise applications. We electronically simulated three interior environments resulting from low-frequency acoustical loads radiated from both individual turbines and groups of upwind and downwind turbines. The written comments of the volunteers exposed to these interior stimuli were correlated with a number of descriptors which have been proposed for predicting low-frequency annoyance. The results are presented in this paper. We discuss our modifications of the highest correlated predictor to include the internal dynamic pressure effects associated with the response of residential structures to low-frequency acoustic loads. Finally, we outline a proposed procedure for establishing both a low-frequency “figure of merit” for a particular wind turbine design and, using actual measurements, estimate the potential for annoyance to nearby communities.

November 1987

Presented at the Windpower ’87 Conference and Exposition
October 5-8, 1987, San Francisco, California

Solar Energy Research Institute
A Division of Midwest Research Institute
Golden, Colorado

Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy

Download original document: “A Proposed Metric for Assessing the Potential of Community Annoyance from Wind Turbine Low-Frequency Noise Emissions [2]