Last year Dr. Kouwen put together a very competent system for measuring noise and wind speed specifically for wind turbines in Ontario. His first foray into the field demonstrated that the noise from wind turbine projects routinely exceeds both what they predicted and what the Ontario regulations allow. More recently he took his equipment to another location and found, yet again, these violations. There is now an unbroken string of measurements (a sampling: Ashbee, Rand, Shirley, Kouwen, Libby) at homes of complaining neighbors that demonstrates, beyond any reasonable debate, that these noise complaints are caused by (drum roll) noise! I have yet to see a case of a complaining neighbor where there wasn’t some underlying noise or vibration problem that could be traced to wind turbines. Weaver continues this string. Continue reading Kouwen and Weaver
Humans have used models to describe and predict their environment for millennia. With the advent of computers the number and sophistication of these models has taken a quantum leap. Many have proven their worth, and their impact upon our view of the universe has been profound. Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable that something with this much influence over our affairs will be misused by those whose with a self-serving agenda – much like junk science.
Dr. Nicholas Kouwen, in his study on wind turbine noise, discovered that the models used to predict that noise substantially underestimated it – a most convenient result, given Ontario’s regulatory regime, for the developer who hired the modellers. In his commentary on why this disconnect occurred he mentioned empirical models and their limitations. I thought the topic was important enough for a separate posting, and here it is. Continue reading Kouwen on Models
Of the many issues surrounding wind energy, noise continues to be a controversial topic. The industry and governments continue to insist that wind energy projects are appropriately sited – far enough from the neighbors so they are not a nuisance. However, around the world the health/nuisance complaints and abandonments indicate that whatever rules are in place are generally not adequate.
Dr. Nicholas Kouwen, a retired engineering professor, had the time and resources to examine the noise issue in some detail for Ontario. Starting in June of 2012 and going into November he took extended noise measurements at five residences in the Grey Highlands region; three of them within the Plateau Project and two “controls” at locations away from the turbines. The Ontario wind project noise regulations, pretty much unique in the world, allow more noise at higher wind speeds so he also recorded wind speeds. He then compared the actual readings with the Ontario limits and it should come as no surprise that those limits were routinely violated. Continue reading Kouwen on Noise