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Low frequency noise and infrasound from wind turbines

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A common issue raised with wind energy developers and operators of utility-scale wind turbines is whether the operation of their wind turbines may create unacceptable levels of low frequency noise and infrasound. In order to answer this question, one of the major wind energy developers commissioned a scientific study of their wind turbine fleet. The study consisted of three parts: 1) a world-wide literature search to determine unbiased guidelines and standards used to evaluate low frequency sound and infrasound, 2) a field study to measure wind turbine noise outside and within nearby residences, and 3) a comparison of the field results to the guidelines and standards. Wind turbines from two different manufacturers were measured at an operating wind farm under controlled conditions with the results compared to established guidelines and standards. This paper presents the results of the low frequency noise and infrasound study. Since the purpose of this paper is to report on low frequency and infrasound emissions, potential annoyance from other aspects of wind turbine operation were not considered, and must be evaluated separately.
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Keywords: 14.5.4; 21.8.1

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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