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Project Overview

Current concerns with sound generated by modern wind turbines are amplitude modulated sound and infrasound. Overall sound levels in the typical audible range are easier to measure and regulate. Amplitude modulated sound and infrasound require more advanced analysis and measurement techniques to quantify.

The research project will analyze sound data, including amplitude modulation and infrasound, collected from the University of Minnesota's Eolos single wind turbine research site and a Minnesota wind farm. The data will then be used to test human response to wind turbine generated sound. The project's research will be done under the guidance of a technical advisory group and is open to public comment through this website.

Project Goals

   1. To provide technically defensible data and review of the source and characteristics of wind turbine generated sound.

    2. To provide techniques for measuring wind turbine noise and recommendations for best practices when measuring for wind energy development.

    3. To provide the wind energy industry with useful information on how humans respond physically, emotionally, and psychologically to wind turbine generated sound. 

    4. To provide unbiased information about wind turbine noise by completing the project under the guidance of a technical advisory group as well as creating and maintaining a public website that details the project.

Project Funding

This project is funded by Xcel Energy's Renewable Development Fund. More information can be found here

Project Team

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL):

    Home to the Eolos Wind Energy Research site, SAFL is an interdisciplinary fluids research and educational facility at the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences (SLHS):

    SLHS combines graduate and undergraduate coursework with clinical and research experiences. SLHS's research areas of expertise include auditory attention, loudness, speech perception, and diagnostic audiology to name a few.

Center for Applied and Translational Sensory Science (CATSS)

   CATSS is an interdisciplinary enterprise focused on enhancing the capability and well-being of persons with sensory loss by translating fundamental scientific research to functional and accessible devices and therapies that can maximize quality of life for those with auditory and visual loss.

Minnesota Department of Commerce

"Advocates on behalf of the public interest in regulated-utility matters; conduct environmental review of proposed energy facilities; oversees utility energy conservation programs."