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The Potential of Natural Sounds to Mask Wind Turbine Noise
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Marcus Wallenberg Laboratory MWL.
Karolinska Institutet, Inst. för Miljömedicin.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering, Marcus Wallenberg Laboratory MWL.
2010 (English)In: Acta Acoustica united with Acustica, ISSN 1610-1928, Vol. 96, no 1, 131-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wind turbine (WT) noise may cause annoyance, especially in relatively quiet areas with low ambient levels. As a compliment to conventional noise control at the source, addition of wanted sounds may reduce the loudness of WT noise by auditory masking. In order to test this, two masking experiments were conducted with two WT noises as target sounds and three natural sounds as maskers (wind in coniferous or deciduous trees and sea waves). In the first experiment, 30 listeners determined the detection thresholds of WT noise in the presence of the natural sounds using a threshold tracking method. In the second experiment, the same group of listeners matched the loudness of partially masked WT noise with the loudness of unmasked WT noise. The results showed that detection thresholds for WT-noise in the presence of natural sounds from trees and sea waves were around -8 to -12 dB S/N-ratio. Furthermore, a reduction of perceived loudness of WT-noise was found for S/N-ratios up to 2 dB. These results were compared with predictions from two models of partial masking (steady and time variant). In general, empirically determined detection thresholds and partial loudness matches were higher than predictions from the two models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 96, no 1, 131-137 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13964DOI: 10.3813/AAA.918264ISI: 000275411900015ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77949409044OAI: diva2:328650
QC 20100705Available from: 2010-07-05 Created: 2010-07-05 Last updated: 2010-07-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Wind Turbine Noise and Natural Sounds: Masking, Propagation and Modeling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wind Turbine Noise and Natural Sounds: Masking, Propagation and Modeling
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Wind turbines are an environmentally friendly and sustainable power source. Unfortunately, the noise impact can cause deteriorated living conditions for nearby residents. The audibility of wind turbine sound is influenced by ambient sound. This thesis deals with some aspects of noise from wind turbines. Ambient sounds influence the audibility of wind turbine noise. Models for assessing two commonly occurring natural ambient sounds namely vegetation sound and sound from breaking waves are presented in paper A and B. A sound propagation algorithm has been compared to long range measurementsof sound propagation in paper C. Psycho-acoustic tests evaluating the threshold and partial loudness of wind turbine noise when mixed with natural ambient sounds have been performed. These are accounted for in paper D.

The main scientific contributions are the following.Paper A: A semi-empiric prediction model for vegetation sound is proposed. This model uses up-to-date simulations of wind profiles and turbulent wind fields to estimate sound from vegetation. The fluctuations due to turbulence are satisfactory estimated by the model. Predictions of vegetation sound also show good agreement to measured spectra.

Paper B: A set of measurements of air-borne sound from breaking waves are reported. From these measurements a prediction method of sound from breaking waves is proposed. Third octave spectra from breaking waves are shown to depend on breaker type. Satisfactory agreement between predictions and measurements has been achieved.

Paper C: Long range sound propagation over a sea surface was investigated. Measurements of sound transmission were coordinated with local meteorological measurements. A sound propagation algorithm has been compared to the measured sound transmission. Satisfactory agreement between measurements and predictions were achieved when turbulence were taken into consideration in the computations.

Paper D: The paper investigates the interaction between wind turbine noise and natural ambient noise. Two loudness models overestimate the masking from two psychoacoustic tests. The wind turbine noise is completely concealed when the ambient sound level (A-weighed) is around 10 dB higher than the wind turbine noise level. Wind turbine noise and ambient noise were presented simultaneously at the same A-weighed sound level. The subjects then perceived the loudness of the wind turbine noise as 5 dB lower than if heard alone.

Keywords: Wind turbine noise, masking, ambient noise, long range sound propagation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2009. 35 p.
Trita-AVE, ISSN 1651-7660 ; 19
Wind turbine noise, models of natural sound sources, masking
National Category
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10434 (URN)
Public defence
2009-05-26, F3, Lindstedtvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:15 (English)
QC 20100705Available from: 2009-05-14 Created: 2009-05-13 Last updated: 2010-07-20Bibliographically approved

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Bolin, KarlKhan, Shafiquzzaman
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