Who Wind Turbine Noise?

The GDG (Guideline Development Group) conditionally recommends reducing noise levels produced by wind turbines below 45 dB Lden for average noise exposure (WIND TURBINES), as noise levels over this level are connected with adverse health consequences.

Is it true that wind turbines make a lot of noise?

Wind turbines are no exception to the rule that everything with moving parts makes noise. Wind turbines, on the other hand, are normally quiet in operation, especially when compared to the noise produced by road traffic, trains, airplanes, and building activities, to name a few.

What is the level of noise produced by wind turbines?

A wind turbine is normally located 300 meters or more away from a house. A turbine will have a sound pressure level of 43 dB at such distance. To put that in perspective, the average air conditioner can make up to 50 decibels of noise, while most refrigerators make around 40 decibels of noise.

Is it possible to hear a wind turbine from a mile away?

“Imagine an airport with a line of airplanes waiting to take off when you think of industrial wind turbines on a ridge line. The planes are propelled by chainsaw engines that have been revved up to maximum power. The turbines, unlike planes at an airport, never lift off. Consider what this might be like at 2:00 a.m.

When you think of an industrial wind project, what comes to mind? The wind industry wants you to think of free, green energy. Noise is a concern for those living near industrial wind turbines. Let’s have a look at why.

Seven 499-foot tall wind turbines would be installed along 6,000 feet of Rocky Ridge as part of an industrial wind project near Swanton, Vermont (elevation 323 feet). We don’t know which model of wind turbine the developer is considering, so let’s look at the GE 2.75-120 Wind Turbine. It is slightly smaller than the developer’s Swanton turbines, at 475 feet.

GE claims that a single 475-foot monster can generate 106 decibels of noise. When the number of turbines is increased to seven, the noise level rises to 109 decibels. (Noise is measured as pressure on a logarithmic scale, so the figures can be confusing at times, but 109 dBA very loud.) My chainsaw, for example, is rated at 109 decibels. When I use it, I utilize ear protection.)

Imagine an airport with a line of airplanes waiting to take off when you think of industrial wind turbines on a ridge line. The planes are propelled by chainsaw engines that have been revved up to maximum power. The turbines, unlike planes at an airport, never lift off. Consider what this might be like at 2:00 a.m.

Some argue that wind turbines are not particularly noisy. That depends on the distance between the turbines (chainsaws) and the number of turbines (chainsaws). Sound weakens as it travels further. The noise level decreases as you get further away from the turbines (chainsaws), and the sound becomes softer. Many geographical and meteorological conditions influence noise attenuation. The noise level is higher if you are downwind of the turbines (chainsaws). The noise travels further if the turbines (chainsaws) are positioned on higher terrain.

Noise levels more than 30 dBA, according to the World Health Organization, can disrupt sleep. Low-frequency noise has a larger potential to interrupt sleep, according to the WHO, and levels of low-frequency noise should be kept below 30 dBA. Turbines generate a lot of low-frequency noise, which is the type of noise that is most likely to disturb neighbors’ sleep.

The Vermont Department of Health recognizes that turbine noise can disrupt sleep, which can be harmful to one’s health. It’s odd that the department can’t seem to connect the connections and come to the conclusion that turbines can harm people’s health.

Turbine noise outside your open bedroom window should not exceed 40 decibels, according to the Vermont Department of Health. The department assumes that your windows are different from mine, and that opening your bedroom window will reduce a 40 dBA noise to 30 dBA. Furthermore, the department’s noise restriction of 40 decibels applies to sounds averaged over a year. That means a vacuum cleaner (70 dBA) could be started outside your open bedroom window every 19 minutes and still be within the department’s guidelines.

The Public Service Board of Vermont has a different standard. According to the PSB, the turbine noise outside your open bedroom window should not exceed 45 dBA over an hour. Every five minutes, the PSB would allow the vacuum cleaner to start up.

Of course, if you don’t check for compliance, a standard is useless. Vermont has devised an amazing technique in which turbine neighbors perform the monitoring. Neighbors can call a special telephone number provided by the turbine operator if noise levels exceed the PSB’s restrictions. Neighbors of the turbine claim that this phone goes unanswered at night. To compensate, several wind energy companies engage trained personnel to come in for a week or two every year to check their noise and reassure neighbors that they are not hallucinating.

An industrial wind turbine produces more than just the noise you can hear. Low-frequency sound is produced by industrial wind turbines, which you cannot hear but can feel. A low frequency pulse is generated when a turbine blade passes through the wind tower of a large turbine. Infrasound refers to pulses that are less than 20 Hz in frequency.

Turbine infrasound can be noticed in homes up to six kilometres away. (Sender’s note: a long way!)

We also know that, despite their inaudibility, very low levels of infrasound and LFN are detected by the neurological system and have an effect on the body. These infrasonic pulsations have been linked to some of the most widely reported illnesses “Many people who live near wind turbines have felt these feelings.

Chronic sleep disturbance, dizziness, tinnitus, heart palpitations, vibrations, and pressure sensations in the head and chest are examples of these experiences. There is medical evidence that pulsating infrasound might cause sleep disturbances. Chronic sleep disruption and deprivation are recognized as a cause of major health problems in clinical medicine.

Denmark, which may have the world’s most successful renewable energy program, is aware of the health risks associated with audible and sub-audible turbine noise. Vermont is not one of them. The Vermont Department of Health recognizes that turbine noise can disrupt sleep, which can be harmful to one’s health. It’s odd that the department can’t seem to connect the connections and come to the conclusion that turbines can harm people’s health.

Industrial wind turbines can impact public health if they are not properly sited. As a result, I propose a moratorium on new industrial wind turbine projects until the legislature, the Public Service Board, the Public Service Department, and the governor develop operating standards that protect turbine neighbors’ health, reform turbine siting standards, and regulate the operation of existing industrial turbines.

Brian Dubie, the lieutenant governor of Vermont from 2003 to 2011, is now an American Airlines pilot. He is a member of the National Lieutenant Governors’ Association, the Vermont Chapter of the American Lung Association, the Green Mountain Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Governor’s Council on International Education. He lives in Fairfield, Vermont.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Johnsbury Academy and one of the five members of Vermont’s State Board of National Forests. He and his brother Mark, a certified tree grower, own and run Dubie Family Sugarworks, a 20,000-tap maple sugaring plant.

Mr. Dubie, who is a member of the Vermont Association of Scientists and Engineers (VASE), has received the Annual Leadership Award from the New England/Canada Business Council, the Martin Award from the Vermont Chiefs of Police Association, and the Charles Dick Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association of the United States. He was awarded the Order of the Eagle by American Airlines in 2008 and was named an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in 2009.

What is the maximum distance between a house and a wind turbine?

Before investing in a wind turbine system, you should evaluate how windy your location is, the height to which you will be able to install your turbine, the size of rotor to use, and whether or not you will require planning approval.


Wind turbines are only as effective as the quantity of wind they get, which includes both speed and force. The more wind the turbine receives, the more power it will generate.


The more efficient a wind turbine is, the higher it is positioned. This is due to a variety of meteorological conditions as well as the likelihood of less barriers higher up.

Planning permission

In the United Kingdom, the region in which you live decides whether you require planning approval for a wind turbine and what rules and regulations you must follow. In England and Scotland, certain turbines can be built without obtaining planning permission if certain conditions are met.

Building-mounted turbines, on the other hand, will require planning authorization in Scotland.

The following are the unique requirements for each UK region:


In order to be installed as authorized development in England, a wind turbine must meet the following requirements:

A wind turbine installed on a building:

  • The property must be detached and surrounded by other detached residences in the area.
  • MCS planning standards must be followed.
  • A single turbine is considered an authorized development, and the property cannot already contain an air source heat pump. Otherwise, you’ll need to submit a planning application.
  • The turbine shall not extend more than 3 meters over the highest part of the chimney, including the blades, and the entire height of the building and wind turbine should not exceed 15 meters.
  • The distance between the ground and the bottom of the wind turbine blade must be greater than 5 meters.
  • A minimum of 5 meters must separate your turbine from your property’s limit.
  • A building-mounted wind turbine’s swept area cannot exceed 3.8m2.
  • A wind turbine cannot be installed on the roof of a listed building or within its grounds.
  • If you live in a conservation area or a world heritage site, you cannot mount the turbine on a wall that is visible from the highway.
  • When the wind turbine is no longer needed for Microgeneration, it must be dismantled as soon as possible.
  • To the extent practicable, be sited to minimize the influence on the local area’s amenity.
  • The installation cannot be built on protected terrain.

A self-contained wind turbine:

  • The MCS planning standards must be followed by the wind turbine.
  • A single turbine is considered an authorized development, and the property cannot already contain an Air Source Heat Pump. Otherwise, you’ll need to submit a planning application.
  • The highest point of a wind turbine blade cannot be higher than 11.1 meters.
  • The distance between the wind turbine and your property’s boundary is equal to the turbine’s height + 10%.
  • The maximum swept area of a wind turbine is 3.8m2.
  • If you live in a conservation area or a world heritage site, the closest part of the wind turbine should be further away from any highways than the nearest part of your house.
  • For an installation on a listed building or a building in a conservation area/world heritage site, permitted development rights are not available.
  • A reflective coating on the blades is not possible.
  • Wind turbines should be dismantled as quickly as feasible after they are no longer required for Microgeneration.


While building-mounted wind turbines in Scotland require planning permission, standalone turbines do not, as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Within the property, it is the lone wind turbine.
  • It is more than 100 meters away from the next-door neighbor.
  • It is not located near a global heritage site, scientific research land, a listed building, or land used for archaeological reasons.

How loud is 42 decibels?

As previously stated, the quietest sound a human ear can hear is 0 dB, which is practically inaudible, such as a leaf dropping. Any sound over 140 decibels is considered dangerous for humans, and repeated exposure to frequencies over 85 decibels puts your hearing in jeopardy.

If you don’t have a frame of reference for these statistics, they don’t signify much. As a rough scale for decibel levels, you can utilize common noises you hear on a daily basis:

  • Normal breathing at 10 decibels
  • Whispering at 20 decibels from five feet away
  • Whispering nearby at 30 dB
  • Quiet library sounds at 40 decibels
  • Refrigerator, 50 decibels
  • Electric toothbrushes have a sound level of 60 decibels.
  • 70 decibels (dB): washing machine
  • Alarm clock at 80 decibels
  • Subway train, 90 decibels
  • Factory machinery at 100 decibels
  • Ambulance siren, 120 decibels

As you can see from this quick scale, noise levels can quickly rise to dangerous levels. While most people are not exposed to the sound of a subway train for lengthy periods of time, many others work in environments that are equally as noisy all day.

The noise level of a lawnmower can range from 60 to 90 decibels, and it is frequently used for several hours. A nearby helicopter can easily reach 105 dB, and while most people are not exposed to helicopters on a regular basis, 105 dB can also be created by a huge drum, posing a major risk to musicians.

Even if sounds have not reached unacceptable or painful levels, it is critical to safeguard your hearing. Long-term or even short-term exposure to extremely loud sounds can cause permanent hearing loss.

Avoid loud everyday sounds, such as yelling, and wear ear protection around sounds you can’t avoid, such as a leaf blower, a concert, or an airplane.

What are the two most common criticisms of wind turbines?

Opponents of Iowa’s expanding number of wind turbines believe the towering towers’ sound and flash harm their health, but researchers say there’s little scientific evidence to back up those allegations.

Three Iowa groups published a paper on Thursday that looked at literature on the public health impact of wind turbines and found little evidence that they are harming neighbors.

Neighbors claim that the spinning blades induce headaches, nausea, and other health issues. Critics also object to the rotor noise as well as low-frequency “infra-sound.”

As Iowa utilities have swiftly accepted wind energy, the debate over wind turbines has risen. Wind generates 37 percent of the state’s electricity, the highest share in the country.

How can a wind turbine be made quieter?

This new approach and its findings are part of a larger study of airplane and wind turbine noise. Oerlemans intends to continue his study and hopes to create even quieter wind turbines in the future. Owls fly almost silently, which inspired him. The soft down feathers on the back edge of owl wings are thought to allow for this silent flight. A row of bristles on the back edge of a wind turbine’s blades, for example, would diminish any noise created. Trials in wind tunnels have already shown that this is successful, but more research is needed.

What’s it like to live near to a wind farm?

Wind turbine syndrome is the belief that living near wind turbines puts people’s health in jeopardy. Headaches, nausea, sleep problems, night terrors, tinnitus, irritability, anxiety, concentration and memory problems, and difficulty with balance and dizziness are among the symptoms reported.

Is it possible for wind turbines to break the sound barrier?

Because of the blade’s barrier, air travels quicker behind the blade than it does in front of it. This is what starts the process of electrical generation by causing the blades to rotate.

Wind alone, however, is insufficient to propel the blades. To achieve the best level of efficiency, engineers must consider speed and drag when constructing the blades.

For example, if the obstruction of the blades creates too much drag, the power yield will be significantly reduced. The blades could travel too swiftly if not enough drag is created, breaking the sound barrier.

One of the most significant advantages of wind turbines is their silent operation. Residents living near prospective wind farms may be more inclined to reject the turbines’ installation if they break the sound barrier.