More propaganda from Herr Marsh of the Stasi

Hz graphic-page-001Recently, the South Australian Environment Protection Authority and a company called Resonate Acoustics issued a joint paper called “Infrasound levels near windfarms and in other environments”.

The report claimed to have measured infrasound at a variety of locations, including urban and rural environments, both in the vicinity of wind developments and elsewhere.

Resonate do a lot of work for wind farm operators so of course they brought an unbridled, unbiased expertise to the gig. (This is sarcasm. See this post.)

And one of the authors was also responsible for the existing South Australian EPA wind farm noise guidelines. These guidelines state there is no infrasound at a “well maintained” wind farm. Of course, of course.

This latest report was immediately lapped up and then vomited out by the Clean Energy Stasi as “proving” that infrasound is no problem with wind farms.

Here’s their release.

Strange timing, don’t you think?

All this happened as the SA EPA chief executive Campbell Gemmell announced at a meeting with residents from the Waterloo wind farm that his organisation was going to undertake acoustic testing at the homes of sick people.

This will take place inside and outside homes, at the full acoustic spectrum down to 0.25 Hz.

And this has got the wind industry worried.

The EPA can use the powers they have under their Act to require the wind developer to agree to on/off testing.

See our link.

Predictably, the message from the Clean Energy Stasi tried to counter this, as did CEC spokesperson Herr Marsh.

It is clear that infrasound is a very sensitive issue for the Clean Energy Council.

Why? Because they know. (You do, you tossers. We know you do. And you know that we know that you know.)

The SA EPA Resonate report contained a number of convenient scientific untruths.

The one we are going to highlight in this post is their use of a measure called “dBG” for infrasound.

This understates the true level of sound energy present when the frequencies are below 10 Hz, but especially around 1 Hz.

This is near what is called “the blade pass frequency”, identified by researchers and acousticians – such as Dr Frits Van den Berg in 2006 and Dr Paul Schomer in 2012 – as generating infrasound.

It is these frequencies that are of greatest interest and concern to many of the independent acoustic and clinical researchers working in this area.

If you look at the graph above, and look at the top line on the left of the middle of the graph, you will see it is called Van den Berg 2006 Unweighted. This is also known as “dB Linear”.

This is the accurate way of measuring the total sound energy present at all the different frequencies.

The next line down is dBG, and this is the way the wind industry and their acousticians and supporters and some noise regulatory authorities  like to measure “infrasound”, which is usually defined as being inaudible frequencies below 20 Hz.

As you will see, between 0 – 10 Hz, there is considerable difference between the total sound energy present, (above 90 dB according to Van den Berg’s measurements at relatively small wind turbines in Europe) and the sound energy which will be measured using a dBG filter (50 dB on this graph).

At the very low frequency of 1 Hz, the difference is approximately 40 dB.   This is highly significant, and is hidden when the dBG filter is used.

The South Australian EPA Resonate report used dBG.

South Australian EPA employees speaking in the media said using dBG is the correct way to accurately measure infrasound.

Leading acousticians working in this area internationally, who are independent of the wind industry, and who have conducted their own field research, strongly disagree.

So do we.

So this is our question.

If the CEC and the whole wind industry believe wind turbines don’t emit infrasound or low frequency, and don’t make people sick, surely they would say – BRING IT ON. Yep, any test you want to do, we’ll submit.

Instead we have spin and subterfuge. That’s their method in this madness.

Now excuse us, we have a bad case of blade pass frequency and need to visit the bathroom.

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So, who’s the big girl in this fight?

Links

Here … and

Salt, A.N. and Kaltenbach, J.A. (2011). Infrasound from Wind Turbines Could Affect Humans. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Science. (Aug 2011). 296-302.
(downloadable from the following weblink:  http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/wind-turbine-noise-and-health-special-issue-of-bulletin-of-science-technology-society/  and scroll down to the fourth article)

Van den Berg, G. P. (2006). The sound of high winds: The effect of atmospheric
stability on wind turbine sound and microphone noise (Doctoral dissertation). University of Groningen, Netherlands.
http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/faculties/science/2006/ g.p.van.den.berg/

Addendum

The authors of the SA EPA report have used dBLinear in one small part of the analysis, but the consequence of the way they have done it has been to average  out the sound peaks.  It is the peaks which the ear and the brain respond to, not the averages, which like dBG has the effect of underestimating the exposure to infrasound.  The dBLinear analysis is therefore fundamentally flawed as well.

The focus of this post was to explain in simple terms to lay people why dBG is NOT an accurate way to measure infrasound, as is being publicly and repeatedly asserted by the wind industry and its supporters.

A subsequent post will outline just how the averaging techniques used in the wind industry by acousticians help to hide the true peaks at each frequency, and therefore underestimate the true dose of infrasound people are exposed to.  One example of this is the use of 1/3 octave band analysis rather than narrow band, which is the method used in all the dBLinear measurements in this document.

For that reason alone, this data of dBLinear is not representative of the true peaks.

It is the opinion of the independent acousticians providing information to STT that this is either ignorant or deliberately deceptive.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Andreas Marciniak says:

    All I know ! is that NO one did any test at my Home inside or outside, and if they did , I don’t know any thing about it, and I’m one of Waterloo Wind Farm refugee, in that matter no one has ever even been in touch with me about any testing ,

  2. ex Green now Milne is in charge says:

    “ A lie may take care of the present but it has no future”

    No wonder the wind industry is worried.

    The EPA and NH&MRC should be too.

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