William K.G. Palmer, P. Eng.
Presented to Acoustical Society of America, October 2014
When one admits that they do not know all the answers and sets out to listen to the stories of people annoyed by wind turbines, the clues can seem confusing. Why would some people report that they could get a better night’s sleep in an outdoor tent, rather than their bedroom?
Others reported that they could sleep better in the basement recreation room of their home, than in bedrooms. That made little sense either.
A third mysterious clue came from acoustic measurements at homes nearby wind turbines. Analysis of the sound signature revealed low frequency spikes, but at amplitudes well below those expected to cause annoyance.
The clues merged while studying the acoustic room modes in a home, to reveal a remarkable hypothesis as to the cause of annoyance from wind turbines. In rooms where annoyance was felt, the frequencies flagged by room mode calculations and the low frequency spikes observed from wind turbine measurements coincided. This paper will discuss the research and the results, which revealed a finding that provides a clue to the annoyance, and potentially even a manner of providing limited relief.