Wind farm noise assessment in Australia and model comparison

Colin Tickell


Wind farm development in Australia has grown significantly since 1999. From 2003 to 2005, there were several proposals submitted for approval with numbers of turbines ranging from 30 to over 100. Noise impacts from wind farms remains a contentious issue for the community and statutory authorities, but there is no nationally agreed approach to assessment. Prediction methods can include computer modelling, but there are no preferred models and it is up to the developer to justify the model. Very little, if any, data has been published comparing the accuracy of models. Compliance assessment is only required at the nearest residential or noise sensitive locations. Operators seem loathe to provide actual data to allow such comparisons to be made and provide some confidence in the predictions. This paper describes the noise assessment process for wind farms in Australia and compares the predictions of a number of models, including two commonly used industrial noise packages and one model specially developed for wind turbines.


Computer simulation; Data reduction; Mathematical models; Noise abatement; Wind turbines; Noise impacts; Noise packages; Statutory authorities; Wind farm development

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