Whistling in the wind – how to disguise the whoosh of a wind turbine

Sweden is launching a new project to investigate how noise from wind turbines could be camouflaged.

The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) has been given 1.6 million Swedish Krona (€170,000) by the Swedish Energy Agency to set up a model of how the whooshing from wind turbines can be masked by vegetation.

Professor Mats Åbom will head the three-year project to design the ‘masking’ model. A pilot model already in use shows how bushes and trees emit similar broad band sound to turbines, Åbom told edie.

“We will do further outdoor measurements to validate our preliminary model,” says Åbom, who will send his team out to record the sound of rattling leaves and bustling bushes in different landscapes. The noise from wind turbines will be recorded up to 5km from their location.

The collected data will eventually be incorporated into a simulation model that can assess the risk for noise disturbance from a wind farm, based on the type of vegetation, the type of turbine and the wind farm’s location. Åbom hopes his model will provide a better ground for planning decisions concerning future wind turbine plants.



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