MAS believe that the best way of ensuring expert consultation and advice is to constantly seek an in depth understanding of the issue(s) in question; where information is lacking, research and investigation is paramount. Too often is acoustics referred to as an inexact science; whilst this is true in some respects it should not be used as an excuse. Outside of day to day consultancy MAS are constantly striving to understand and discuss issues relating to noise from wind development.

Publications and papers

Please visit our Publications and Papers page to access the latest presentations and publications based on research into wind farm noise impact.

MAS Study of the article method versus ETSU-R-97

In 2009 an article was published in the Institute of Acoustics magazine 'Acoustics Bulletin'. The article proposed changes to the way wind farm noise was assessed primarily relating to the issue of wind shear. It was not based on research or empirical measurements and was developed following some widely stated assumptions about the effects of wind shear. This paper challenges the assumptions made by the article on the influence of wind shear on wind turbine noise and shows that use of this places the protection of nearby residents amenity at risk, allowing more noise from wind farms than would be applied using the original principles of ETSU-R-97. A brief summary of the results of the study is given below, the full article and summary can be downloaded by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

The table below clearly shows that across all wind speeds for both wind shear exponents assessed that there is no gain in adopting the article method. In 72-75% of cases analysed the article method actually resulted in a loss of protection to communities. Looking only at the critical wind speeds of 5-7m/s nearly all cases (91-95%) resulted in a loss of protection to communities by using the article method.


The implication of the above results is that by using the article method to assess wind turbine noise, adverse noise impact will rarely be predicted. This is beneficial for developers as it increases the likelihood that the turbine development will be approved for planning permission. Use of the article method provides a worse situation for local communities as it is more likely to result in adverse noise impact once the turbine development is built despite there being no indication of it at the planning stage and little means for reducing or resolving noise impact post development.


Mike Stigwood
& Terri Stigwood

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