The Importance of Long-Term Wind Farm Monitoring

You have carefully considered your circumstances and made the decision to commission a noise and vibration monitoring study. Top technicians in the industry have visited your site, taken extensive measurements, evaluated vast amounts of data, interpreted the findings, and implemented specific, targeted solutions. These solutions have addressed not only your current noise and vibration concerns, but certain possible issues that might arise down the road as well. Your facility is performing within specified tolerances. Wind turbine noise measurement may seem as though it only needs to be done while the wind farm is being constructed and initialized. Why, then, might you consider long-term wind turbine noise monitoring?

Continual wind farm noise monitoring in the months and years after a project comes on line can save money, reduce downtime, and preserve smooth interaction with all parties that might be affected by unforeseen issues. Imagine the revenue loss and inconvenience to the customer base if a shutdown were mandated due to a new noise or vibration issue of unknown origin. A new study may need to be commissioned, new measurements taken and analyzed, and new conclusions drawn. How long will that take? When can your wind farm come back on line?

Noise and vibration issues can be the additive result of small, possibly unnoticeable, problems that, when experienced as individual events, present no problem whatsoever. As time passes and the physical components of a complex facility experience gradual wear, micro-failures begin to occur. Continuous monitoring can supply you with the knowledge of your facility’s operating condition.

What about unforeseen noise sources that are not part of the facility itself? New nearby construction projects, interactivity between other facilities, and changes in the street activity can alter what was once a perfectly compliant noise and vibration level. When new and unacceptable noise and vibration is noticed by surrounding residents and property owners, where does the responsibility fall? Long-term monitoring can build a documented history of noise and vibration, not only from sources within your operation, but from nearby facilities as well. When responsibility must be correctly assigned, the performance logs from your facility’s operations can place the responsibility where it belongs, not by supposition or guesswork, but by accurate and comprehensive scientific measurement.

It is the goal and mission of long-term wind turbine noise monitoring to detect and quantify the otherwise imperceptible changes that naturally occur as a facility serves its customers for an extended period. By detecting and subsequently addressing each of these small issues as soon as they present themselves, the much greater and far more troublesome cumulative effect is prevented before it can become a reality. Contact Valcoustics to learn more about long term Wind Turbine Noise Monitoring.