Experiences and Related Information
|A Swedish Experience
Wind turbines produce nothing but a nightmare
for neighbourhoods: conflicts between former friends
and within families, stress, ill health ... I
left my home because of a wind turbine placed
650 m from my house. One day in 1998 mine and
my neighbours' lives changed dramatically. The
noise is a torture."
Lotta Nilsson, Laholm Sweden
|Phrases used to describe
"A toy in a tumble
"a train that never arrives"
"a thumping heartbeat"
"someone blowing in your ear"
"2 or 3 helicopters flying above my house"
"a low pitched non-directional hum"
"like a working Chinook helicopter"
"the sky is thumping with sound"
"It’s like the roar of traffic on the
|A Welsh Experience
Now I sleep in my outhouse shed, it's not comfortable.
I don't want to sleep there. I don't choose to
be so far from amenities all night and suffer
the sounds of mice within a yard of my head. The
trouble is that when I am in the house my heart
beat seems to alter, there seems to be a repeated
slightly thumping pressure on my lungs. There's
a slight throbbing in my head like a headache
without the pain. I feel slightly sick.
|An English Experience
"We liked the moor as it was, a place where you
can go and be on your own. And you can't do that
now: it's got these machines now grinding away."
Paul Bradburn, Edenfield resident and wind farm
|Quote by the Alliance & Leicester
"Peace and quite is the single most important
factor people have in mind when buying a home
- with one in five prospective homebuyers rating
it as the most important consideration when choosing
where they will buy"
Alliance and Leicester Survey, 3/6/03
|Quote from a paper on noise
Wind farm noise is difficult to specify, measure
and especially predict with any certainty. Further,
the figures are frequently manipulated in such
a manner to obfuscate them to the general public.
Assurances by potential wind farm developers are
worthless, unless they are legally contracted.
Where predictions are shown to be incorrect, no
mitigation has ever been offered. There are health
effects cause by WF noise, not solely limited
to those of acoustic perception or sleep deprivation.
|A Welsh Experience
Our small cottage is just over half a mile from
one of these turbines and approximately 200ft
lower in elevation. The noise from this one turbine
is at times unbearable. At best we get a constant
pulsating thump from the blades as they cut through
the air. During the summer months it sometimes
becomes impossible for us to sit out in our garden.
When we go inside it becomes unacceptable for
us to have our windows open because the pulsating
noise is so invasive
|A Canadian Experience
... People complain of both the audible
and subaudible noise. Noting that we are downwind
from where a large number of windmills are to
be located, consider living with what has been
described as a "low hum, to a never ceasing jet
flying overhead, to a sound like a house has been
dumped into a washing machine." That is the sound
one couple in Amaranth township described from
within their home. In addition people complain
of the subaudible sound. This leads to sleep disturbances
and people complaining of getting less than two
hours of sleep each night. And subaudible sound,
as it's called leads to vertigo from inner ear
disturbances to migraines , high anxiety levels,
depression, loss of concentration, nausea and
ringing in the ears. The lack of sleep itself
certainly can lead to a host of other health problems.
|A Canadian Experience
...The World Health Organization is
concerned about the effect of the noise from these
turbines on human health. They have devised upper
limits to the decibels of noise people are exposed
to. This is 30 dB for a steady state or continuous
noise and 45 dB for a noise event. This would
place wind turbines in the range of two miles
from the nearest property line. Property, not
house, as it's felt people should be able to enjoy
their property within an acceptable noise limit....
|Why wind turbines sound louder at night
When the atmosphere becomes more stable, which
is usual at night when there is a partial clear
sky and a light to moderate wind (at ground level),
there is an important change in wind profile affecting
the performance of a modern, tall wind turbine.
The airflow around the blade then changes to less
than optimal, resulting in added induced turbulence.
This effect is strongest when the blades pass
the tower, causing short lasting, higher sound
levels at the rate of the blade passing frequency.
In a wind park these pulses can synchronize, leading
to still higher pulse levels for an observer outside
the park. The resulting repetitive pulses change
the character of the wind park sound and must
be expected to cause added annoyance.
Bloomstein of Freedom, Maine
... the developers presented a wind study they
commissioned saying the sound levels at my house
would rarely exceed 45 decibels. The truth is,
sound levels are regularly over the promised level,
and on many windy nights, can be twice as loud...
for our family since the windfarm began operating
has been filled with sorrow, illness, heartache
Daniel d’Entremont, Nova Scotia, Canada
How could a company be permitted to enter our
community and turn our pristine area into a
The noise is like “surround” sound: it’s omni-directional.
It feels like there’s this evil thing hovering
above you and it follows you everywhere. It
will not leave you alone. This noise will not
allow you to have your own thoughts, the body
cannot adapt, it’s a violation of your body.
It is a noise that the human body cannot adapt
to even after more than a year of exposure.
As time progresses the noise becomes even more
Sleep disturbance and wind turbine noise
Leadng sleep disorder specialist Dr Christopher Hanning was asked by the Stop Swinford
Wind Farm Action Group (SSWFAG) to review the potential consequences of wind turbine
noise and, in particular, its effect on sleep and health and to make
recommendations with regard to the proposed setback distances.
His conclusion was that the only mitigation of sleep disturbance from industrial wind turbine
noise is a setback of at least 1.5km and probably greater.
Read his report here.
Links on wind turbines, noise and the problems
- June 2008
of Lords Call for Evidence
... The NWG membership was weighted in favour
of representation from the wind turbine industry,
largely acousticians and engineers. However,
there is no evidence that qualified medical
or epidemiological experts were consulted to
offer guidance on how the technical acoustic
data might translate into any adverse impact
on human health.
In 1996 existing wind arrays in Cornwall and
Wales were between 49 - 59mtrs high and 0.4
- 0.6 mw installed capacity. Today’s proposed
wind arrays are 120+ meters high and 2+ megawatts
installed capacity. Among its recommendations,
the NWG stated that ETSU R 97 might need revisiting
and recommended revision within two years, with
reviews at regular intervals because of changes
in wind turbine technology. There is no
evidence to show that the Dti revisited ETSU
despite wind turbines and schemes
becoming dramatically larger than those on which
ETSU had been based, and despite the newer World
Health Organisation Guidelines for Community
Noise 1999 being materially updated, and despite
Parliament enacting the Human Rights Act 1998.
Amplitude Modulation of Wind Turbine Noise
A Review of the Evidence
|Barbara Frey & Peter
Radiation From Wind Turbines Installed Near Homes:
Effects on Health
Read the Abstract
Summary of Recent Research on Adverse Health Effects of Wind Turbines
Author: Stelling, Keith; and Krogh, Carmen
There is already ample scientific evidence that low frequency noise is a cause
of sleep disturbance in humans. The evidence also suggests that long term
exposure normally leads to serious health problems.
The only effective mitigation is to adequately separate wind turbine developments from sensitive wildlife habitats and human dwellings