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Thread: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

  1. #31
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedyears View Post
    Yes , could do with someone breaking cover and being helpful!
    Thing is if I get permission then I will buy a turbine so there is business for someone, but all I can get so far is companies wanting 20k deposit with 5 for planning and 15 returnable if plans fail. What do you think if we fail? Do I feel confident that I will get 15k back ? Oh sorry sir cost a bit more than we thought. Been down this road before !
    In a similar position but have found an ex planner with track record of successful turbine applications willing to do planning app for 2k plus council fee plus 500 for enviro report.

  2. #32
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    Fair enough to measure present back ground noise , but what about proposed noise when turbine is built?
    Do you measure noise from an existing built turbine or what?
    Manufacturers have data of noise produced at different windspeeds, inc individual sound frequencies. Acoustic expert uses this data to make a prediction of noise levels at non-involved dwellings nearby. They predict worst case scenarios. Turbine noise level allowable is relative to background noise.

  3. #33
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGrohl View Post
    Manufacturers have data of noise produced at different windspeeds, inc individual sound frequencies. Acoustic expert uses this data to make a prediction of noise levels at non-involved dwellings nearby. They predict worst case scenarios. Turbine noise level allowable is relative to background noise.
    Would it be of any benefit to have the acoustic guy at the planning meeting to answer questions or was the report just accepted by the planning committee?

  4. #34
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedyears View Post
    Yes , could do with someone breaking cover and being helpful!
    Thing is if I get permission then I will buy a turbine so there is business for someone, but all I can get so far is companies wanting 20k deposit with 5 for planning and 15 returnable if plans fail. What do you think if we fail? Do I feel confident that I will get 15k back ? Oh sorry sir cost a bit more than we thought. Been down this road before !
    Sounds like a familiar story to my inlaws. Similar quotes for them for the same deal. I got them to ditch the middleman and have taken over overseeing the planning app myself. Having said that, 20k for permission delivered isn't massively over the top for a decent sized turbine. They are doing the work for you after all. Being involved in the process yourself is incredible time-consuming. Costs are a movable feast depending on your planners.

    Data should be easily available in any case. Just because something is manufactured overseas shouldn't put you off a bit of digging. Why would a manufacturer not tell you what you want to know? Sure the agent will be cagey, but why bother with them? E-mail the company if you're nervous of phoning them.

  5. #35
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedyears View Post
    Would it be of any benefit to have the acoustic guy at the planning meeting to answer questions or was the report just accepted by the planning committee?
    I don' really understand what happens at planning meetings having attended two. I wouldn't waste a bullet on any of our councillors, bunch of lazy ignorant pillocks!! We weren't even allowed to speak because no one wanted to speak against us. Planning officer recommended our turbine and they voted 9 to 1 against. It was clear that not one of them had even bothered to read any of the planning officer's 64 page report!!

    Anyway.................... The noise assessment is more for the environmental dept at the council for them to peruse. Wouldn't have thought there'd be any requirement for an acoustic expert to be at the meeting unless noise was a major issue. If it is then you're on a sticky wicket because they could force you to take it down if someone complains after you've put it up as has already been mentioned. You need a large margin of safety for noise. Just not worth the gamble with sums involved.

  6. #36
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Have found a more accommodating supplier today who will supply the data, also have spoken to a local land agency that maybe of some use for an environmental report, you got a good contact Dave? One thing do think is that our planners aren't keen on turbines not owned by the farmer, spoke to a friend today who had had one turned down and he said they were looking out for the money staying in the area.

  7. #37
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Who owns or operates a turbine is not a material planning consideration and gives no grounds for refusal or approval. However, you can dress up your turbine in terms of sustainable farm development and energy security.

    As for the noise, you just need to read the wind turbine noise rating standard (ETSU-R-97) to gauge the planning standards which you will have to meet. These are incredibly lax, in that they are overly lenient for a turbine operator (standard originally written by the wind industry), and that's why you won't get any sympathy if you exceed the limits.
    For example, if I was to put up a chicken shed with extraction then I wouldn't be allowed to exceed the existing background noise levels as measured at the nearest dwelling (but at that level the fans would still be audible at that dwelling), if it's a wind turbine I could exceed the background by 5dB(A). Bearing in mind an increase of 6dB(A) is perceived by the human ear as doubling the loudness, my turbine could be heard as nearly twice as loud as the pre-existing noise environment - more than likely to give rise to complaints even if you are within the Planning limits. So if you are likely to be anywhere near the ETSU limits you are very likely to have to undertake compliance monitoring post commissioning. If you exceed the planning limits you will be served a compliance notice and have to turn the turbine off or have an expensive legal fight. Even if you comply with the planning limits, you could still be causing a statutory nuisance by way of noise and be served with an abatement notice (turn it off?). It's a mine field out there so do your homework and don't let a half baked pseudo expert take your money and ruin your life. You really need to go and stand next to the model of turbine you are thinking of buying, you might be surprised how quiet it is or you might be surprised how your neighbours are ever going to sleep again.

  8. #38
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    It's all a bit of kidology anyway, as once you're a reasonable distance away from the turbine you can't hear the mechanical parts working. What you can hear is the wooshing of the blades passing the tower. And that isn't the noise that noise assessments predict.

    And when all's said and done, when it's windy you get the noise of the wind in your ears and it's difficult to pick out other noises. Like I said, it's all kidology!!

  9. #39
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Well, Dave, you are right in some ways about the kidology but the noise assessment IS about predicting the noise from all parts of the turbine including the blades. The noise performance tests of generator + gearbox etc will initially be done on the workbench. Also that of the blades will (at first) be a theoretical model but then these components have to be mated and actual measurements taken in the field - in order to satisfy the EU or relevant standard (like MCS for baby turbines). If the turbine manufacturer hasn't actually built a turbine and just relies on bench tests and assumptions then you are really going out on a limb.

    As for the issue of wind noise in your ears - at ground level at your sheltered little house the wind speed will be say 2m/s and all you hear is a few leaves rustling but at the turbine site on the neighbouring high ground and a 40m hub height the wind speed will be well within the operating speed of the turbine at say 6m/s. As rural background noise is dominated by wind generated noise, on a day which you think is calm (in your garden) the turbine will be busily generating and knocking out it's decibels - that's why turbines are the subject of so many noise complaints. So it's the calmer days which give rise to the biggest noise issues - you think it's a still warm night so you open your windows only to hear the turbine (in it's exposed not so calm location). Don't get me wrong, I am generally a turbine fan but also worked as a noise consultant for 20 years. There's nothing so vile as a person who hasn't slept for a week and thinks it's your fault!

  10. #40
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    Well, Dave, you are right in some ways about the kidology but the noise assessment IS about predicting the noise from all parts of the turbine including the blades. The noise performance tests of generator + gearbox etc will initially be done on the workbench. Also that of the blades will (at first) be a theoretical model but then these components have to be mated and actual measurements taken in the field - in order to satisfy the EU or relevant standard (like MCS for baby turbines). If the turbine manufacturer hasn't actually built a turbine and just relies on bench tests and assumptions then you are really going out on a limb.

    As for the issue of wind noise in your ears - at ground level at your sheltered little house the wind speed will be say 2m/s and all you hear is a few leaves rustling but at the turbine site on the neighbouring high ground and a 40m hub height the wind speed will be well within the operating speed of the turbine at say 6m/s. As rural background noise is dominated by wind generated noise, on a day which you think is calm (in your garden) the turbine will be busily generating and knocking out it's decibels - that's why turbines are the subject of so many noise complaints. So it's the calmer days which give rise to the biggest noise issues - you think it's a still warm night so you open your windows only to hear the turbine (in it's exposed not so calm location). Don't get me wrong, I am generally a turbine fan but also worked as a noise consultant for 20 years. There's nothing so vile as a person who hasn't slept for a week and thinks it's your fault!
    I've PM' ed you Windylamb Ta.

  11. #41
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    RGT, I've replied to your pm but not sure it went. Best let me know if it didn't.

  12. #42
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Received and replied all the best

  13. #43
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    Well, Dave, you are right in some ways about the kidology but the noise assessment IS about predicting the noise from all parts of the turbine including the blades. The noise performance tests of generator + gearbox etc will initially be done on the workbench. Also that of the blades will (at first) be a theoretical model but then these components have to be mated and actual measurements taken in the field - in order to satisfy the EU or relevant standard (like MCS for baby turbines). If the turbine manufacturer hasn't actually built a turbine and just relies on bench tests and assumptions then you are really going out on a limb.

    As for the issue of wind noise in your ears - at ground level at your sheltered little house the wind speed will be say 2m/s and all you hear is a few leaves rustling but at the turbine site on the neighbouring high ground and a 40m hub height the wind speed will be well within the operating speed of the turbine at say 6m/s. As rural background noise is dominated by wind generated noise, on a day which you think is calm (in your garden) the turbine will be busily generating and knocking out it's decibels - that's why turbines are the subject of so many noise complaints. So it's the calmer days which give rise to the biggest noise issues - you think it's a still warm night so you open your windows only to hear the turbine (in it's exposed not so calm location). Don't get me wrong, I am generally a turbine fan but also worked as a noise consultant for 20 years. There's nothing so vile as a person who hasn't slept for a week and thinks it's your fault!
    Are there any turbines that run a lot quieter than others? I would have thought direct driven ones with no gearbox will generate less noise but that is just my way of thinking.

  14. #44
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Yes, direct drives are a bit quieter, the EWT is a bit quieter than the equivalent Enercon but the aerodynamic noise from the blades is a major factor common to all. Some tonal quality to the noise will be expected from the gearbox which means that (for the purposes of a noise assessment) an additional 5dB is added to the figures to account for the extra bit of annoyance that this may bring. That really accounts for the figures showing the Enercon as noiseier - it's not really louder but is more likely to be annoying because of the whine!

    The possibility of aerodynamic effects sometimes known as Frequency Modulation or Amplitude Modulation is another thing to consider but it is little understood and as there isn't a recognised method of measurement, prediction or limitation then it is often brushed aside as not applicable. But things like big blades (large swept area) on low tower and terrain will often be the risk factors. There are plenty of famous/infamous cases about it and I think the Denbrook thing still isn't resolved.

    As I said, noise is complicated.

  15. #45
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    No one likes noise , and when locals get effected action groups like this on www.llanganaction.com get started.

  16. #46
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Wind Turbine Noise is obviously enough of an issue to justify the 5th International Conference on it
    http://www.windturbinenoise2013.org

  17. #47
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Quote Originally Posted by windylamb View Post
    Well, Dave, you are right in some ways about the kidology but the noise assessment IS about predicting the noise from all parts of the turbine including the blades. The noise performance tests of generator + gearbox etc will initially be done on the workbench. Also that of the blades will (at first) be a theoretical model but then these components have to be mated and actual measurements taken in the field - in order to satisfy the EU or relevant standard (like MCS for baby turbines). If the turbine manufacturer hasn't actually built a turbine and just relies on bench tests and assumptions then you are really going out on a limb.

    As for the issue of wind noise in your ears - at ground level at your sheltered little house the wind speed will be say 2m/s and all you hear is a few leaves rustling but at the turbine site on the neighbouring high ground and a 40m hub height the wind speed will be well within the operating speed of the turbine at say 6m/s. As rural background noise is dominated by wind generated noise, on a day which you think is calm (in your garden) the turbine will be busily generating and knocking out it's decibels - that's why turbines are the subject of so many noise complaints. So it's the calmer days which give rise to the biggest noise issues - you think it's a still warm night so you open your windows only to hear the turbine (in it's exposed not so calm location). Don't get me wrong, I am generally a turbine fan but also worked as a noise consultant for 20 years. There's nothing so vile as a person who hasn't slept for a week and thinks it's your fault!
    Hi all, been keeping stum for my own reasons and just watching, but windy if you worked as a noise consultant you got some stuff really wrong in places. For instance the wind shear factor you are obviously referring to above only means a shift of the noise curve of 2m/s for turbines upto 50m in height (latest IOA guidance) meaning simply that predicted turbine noise at wind speeds of 4m/s are to be compared to background noise levels when corrected to 10m height at 2m/s.

    As for AM, that is catagorically dismissed despite the likes of a few wind turbine noise consultants banging on about it, there is that much uncertainty built into the modelling and predicting (by that i mean worst case allowance) that in reality, a decent prediction of worst case noise is never going to happen. The idea isnt that they make no noise, just that the noise isnt classed as a statuatory nusance. Anything under 40dB is better than world health organisation ideal and that covers places in sweden that have no other sources of noise for miles and miles.

    And which enercon is tonal? the e33 is, dont think any others are, EWT is at 4-5m/s i think

  18. #48
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    A friend in Portugal certainly regreted turbines, a number were put up next to his farm and once they started working he found his purebred Lusitano foals in the nearest fields were growing up with deformed front legs and feet.


    This has since been shown to have been caused by ground vibrations.

    He has had a number of health problems since and the rest of the family have had to move away as the childrens' school performance was suffering through disturbed sleep.

    The Supreme Court in Portugal has recently ordered that 4 of the turbines be taken down immediately.
    Last edited by Jungle Bill; 04-08-13 at 06:22 PM.

  19. #49
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    Yeh, BigAndy I could have written a better explanation etc but I was trying to keep it simple. I suppose noise doesn't really let you do that. Your response really said what I was attempting to in parts but I was trying to avoid having to explain wind shear (which varies from site to site anyway, etc, etc). Not sure everyone has dismissed AM but for a few maverick consultants?

    Yes it is the E33 being tonal - but that's no longer available and the EWT 500KW, the manufacturer said that it isn't tonal. Mind you, the noise performance tests said that the Gaia wasn't tonal but mine is, so too are most of the others I've visited. They must have chosen a really good one for the tests!

    Anyway, I was never involved in turbine noise (thankfully) but had plenty of experience of industrial and commercial noise complaints which are much easier to measure than turbines (and have a proper, meaningful, easily understood and repeatable noise rating standard) - we never did any monitoring when the wind was over 3m/s! However, if you have a noise source of 40 decibels in a quiet rural setting (background noise 27-35) and people live there, you will get noise nuisance complaints. That has been shown time and time again. Whether anything is or can be done about it is another matter but it doesn't stop the complaints coming in. Remember ETSU wind turbine noise rating standard wasn't written to protect residents from wind farm noise but was written so as not to unreasonably constrain wind turbine development - their words not mine. If they used the BS4142 Industrial noise rating standard then nearly all the turbines would have struggled to comply.

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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    But you got the La90 and the Laeq stuff there as well so not really to allow wind turbines as the turbine noise background is already discounted, fact is a that unless turbine noise well over 40dB it isnt going to disturb anyone, so much crap written about it to be frank. Obviously dont want to harm anyone, but people are just using noise as a weapon against turbines, without any understanding of what the levels are actually like and how it would realistically affect them, which in most cases is not at all.

    as for a few maverick consultants, you said it, the IOA guidance that now given goverment backing dismisses it.

  21. #51
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    No sure I understand your premise that unless a turbine is well over 40dB(A) it isn't going to disturb anyone. If you got a background noise level of say 30dB(A) L90 then adding to that a turbine noise of even 35db(A) is going to give a clearly audible addition to the noise environment, even if that noise source doesn't actually increase the overall background noise it's likely to give rise to complaints - whether one considers them justified or not.

    I once had a noise complaint from a chap complaining of reversing beepers at night. He lived 7 miles from the noise source. His background noise level was 27dB(A) L90 and LEQ - makes no difference because it was so quiet. Anyway, turn off the reversing beepers and the background noise reading remained unchanged. The sound energy from those beepers was so little as to be immeasurable at that distance (even in a frequency specific fast responce measurement). But it could still be clearly heard through his open window at night. Those beepers were designed to be particularly noticeable to the human ear, but not necessarily from that distance! Whatever was said to that chap it did not make any difference - he could hear the noise and he said it kept him awake.

    Now I'm not saying wind turbines are like reversing beepers but I am saying that if you put something that makes a relatively constant noise into an otherwise "quiet" environment then people will notice and some may be disturbed. If I was a turbine operator then I would want to make sure I had got my sums right and wasn't going to piss too many people off - I don't suppose many of them have had 20 years of dealing with noise complaints, if they had then they might just be a little bit more thoughtful about some of the turbine locations, that's all.

  22. #52
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    some turbines are being de commissioned from existing 54mtr tip 450kw and replaced with 110 meter to tip and 2.5mkw turbines, the distance from nearest property is 510 meters ,so may have been ok with the de-commissioned ones but the new ones as doubled in height ,and x5 in generation capacity -nightmare???

  23. #53
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    Re: Anyone ever regreted a turbine?

    At first very few planning restrictions were imposed on turbines but as time went on they started to appear. Some because of documented problems (eg, ice fall onto neighbouring houses), others because of perceived problems (bat strikes - UK that is). As time goes on a better understanding of the true facts will emerge and maybe even a reasonable national planning policy. At least that way developers and residents would know where they stand. Until such time we are all left peddling half truths and horror stories - which helps no-one.

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