Addressing low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines

Authors

  • Brian Howe HGC Engineering, 2000 Argentia Road, Plaza One, Mississauga, ON L5N 1P7, Canada
  • Nick McCabe HGC Engineering, 2000 Argentia Road, Plaza One, Mississauga, ON L5N 1P7, Canada
  • Ian Bonsma HGC Engineering, 2000 Argentia Road, Plaza One, Mississauga, ON L5N 1P7, Canada

Keywords:

Noise pollution, Wind turbines, Acoustic impacts, Broadband noise, Dominant frequency, Human perception, Infrasound, Low frequency, Low-frequency components, Low-frequency sounds, Medical professionals, Ontario, Setback distances, Sound level, Sound pressure level, Sound source, Trailing edges

Abstract

The article addresses the low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines. Modem wind turbines produce broadband noise, with the dominant sound source related to turbulence at the trailing edge of the blades. In relation to human perception of the sound, the dominant frequency range is not the low frequency or infrasonic ranges, but low frequency sound will routinely be an audible component of the acoustic impact. Publications by medical professionals indicate that, at the typical setback distances in Ontario. the overall magnitude of the sound pressure levels produced by wind turbine generators does not represent a direct health risk. This includes noise at low and infrasound frequencies. The relationship between the sound level and the prevalence of annoyance is complicated, and is often influenced by other non-acoustic factors. This situation does not relate exclusively to the low frequency component of the audible noise impact of wind turbines.

Published

2011-09-01

How to Cite

1.
Howe B, McCabe N, Bonsma I. Addressing low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011Sep.1 [cited 2021Apr.17];39(3):86-7. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2423

Issue

Section

Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada