Kingsbridge Environmental Noise Study / Epcor
Epcor is a power development company that installed a 40 megawatt wind farm near the shores of Lake Huron. After installation, the company received several complaints about noise levels in the surrounding area. Epcor sought a noise complaint investigation and a detailed Environmental Noise Study.
Aercoustics was first involved in the pre-development noise survey to establish the pre-existing ambient noise conditions. After installation, the complaints pointed to specific wind turbines on the site. Once the sources of the noise were determined, a complete Environmental Noise Study was carried out to evaluate the entire site.
Aercoustics helped determine the merits of the complaints. We performed extensive measurements of all the turbine units and found that a particular make of gearbox in the nacelle of the turbine was emanating unusual sounds.
The Environmental Noise Study required new methods of sound measurements including the use of a 10-metre anemometer to correlate sound and wind data. With the anemometer, further developments in sound measurement included the use of unattended, short-interval, long-term meters to capture sound levels. Extensive attended measurements were also performed during all kinds of weather and time periods.
As a result, the malfunctioning gear boxes were replaced and the windmillsí noise character and levels were found to be appropriate.
The extensive Environmental Noise Study was completed and submitted to the appropriate government authorities.