This paper presents observations of audio noise in frequency range 20e20 000 Hz from wind turbines. The observations were performed around the theoretically calculated 40 dBA noise perimeter around the wind turbine farm at Oxhult, Sweden. This paper describes a newly designed and constructed a ﬁeld qualiﬁed data acquisition system to measure spectra and total noise level of sound from wind turbines. The system has been calibrated at SP Borås. It is shown that it has a ﬂat frequency response and is linear with amplitude and time.
The total noise level (as integrated 20e20 000 Hz) is shown to be below 35 dBA (below the reference background noise at 36 dBA) at a 10 m altitude wind speed of 4e5 m/s. The measurements were made along the theoretical 40 dBA border at 8 m/s.
It is concluded that the theoretical 40 dBA border seems reasonable calculated if the manufacturer speciﬁcations are used to extrapolate the sound level to correspond to 8 m/s at 10 m. Our data indicate that a simple sound propagation model is sufﬁcient since the sound level is more affected by the nearby environment than the large scale forest structure. Also, the large scale forestry structure is bound to change with time and the error bars of measurements on total sound level are about 1 dBA, which is larger than any ﬁne tuning with a more sophisticated model. More care should be taken to model the reﬂections from walls and other obstacles close to the microphones.
The distribution of the spectral noise level around the turbine farm suggests that the noise originates from individual wind turbines closest to the measurement location rather than from the wind turbine farm as a whole. The spectra show narrow band spectral line features which do not contribute signiﬁ-cantly to the total noise at this level. The narrow band features are only detectable at very long inte-gration time and at 1 Hz spectral resolution. The spectral features are typical to originate from mechanical noise.
The spectral acquisition method described in this paper can be used as a ﬁeld qualiﬁed system for sound measurements in forest areas. The high spectral resolution is a viable remote diagnostic method for mechanical faults in the turbine machinery. Future work will concentrate on these two areas.
Oxford: Pergamon Press, 2013. Vol. 57, 512-519 p.