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Worlds eyes on Waterloo, AU as wind turbines go on trial

Thanks to Central Bruce Wind Action for the story

The Australian — February 9, 2013

Kicking and screaming the wind industry is being dragged into honest testing (let’s hope)
      THE ghosts of Waterloo, the absent residents who have fled their homes in rural South Australia to escape strange ailments they blame on wind turbines, have risen to haunt Big Wind.
    In the face of mounting international evidence and continued industry denials, Waterloo will become the test site for a noise-monitoring program which may reverberate around the world.
    The SA EPA report uses various techniques which result in “averaging” of the numbers, thereby hiding the true peaks of sound energy present at the different frequencies. The ear hears the peaks, not the averages. This is a strategy which the wind industry have used globally very successfully to hide the high levels of low frequency sound energy which people are living with, which increase as the towers increase in size. That is why 1/3 Octave band analysis is not detailed enough – Steve Cooper and others have long been advocating that a “narrow band” analysis must be used, to pick up what is happening at these very low frequencies more accurately.
        Acoustic expert Steven Cooper says the Resonate research has several obvious shortcomings.
         Resonate’s use of the dBG (infrasonic weighting) range to measure the wind turbine noise is “inappropriate and misleading”, he says. And the use of a 10-second average removed the acoustic signature of the turbines.
        Cooper says the correct method of describing turbine infrasound is the linear (unweighted) level over the infrasound region of 0.8 Hz to 20 Hz.
        This information will be captured in the EPA’s proposed long-term monitoring.
The Australian EPA is to said to force the companies to shut down the turbines to measure background noise.
The testing follows a joint study in Wisconsin in the US that found enough evidence to “classify low frequency noise and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the (wind) industry”.
True to form “In its submission to a NSW inquiry into wind industry regulation, Vestas says existing testing regimes are “not designed to deal with frequencies at the low end of the audible spectrum” because noise emissions in this band are not considered to affect the surrounding environment.  Vestas therefore suggested the requirement to measure low-frequency noise be removed from the NSW draft guidelines.”
Let’s hope the EPA will follow Cooper’s advice.

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