In the project with the abbreviated title “WEA-Akzeptanz” (Acceptance of wind turbines) the Leibniz University of Hanover is working together with its industrial partner Senvion to develop a complete acoustic model. In future, this model is to help forecast the impact of the noise from planned wind turbines on local residents. In addition, the insights from this project are to be used to fine-tune low-noise wind turbines and their components.

The rotor, transmission and generator of a wind turbine generate noise. Depending on the weather conditions and the landscape, the noise of several wind turbines can be perceived as a burden. Furthermore, the stroboscopic shadow of a wind turbine when the sun is low can be regarded as a disturbance by local residents. With the help of audiovisual simulations, researchers are therefore analysing noise generation, distribution and psychoacoustic sound perceptions in the vicinity of wind turbines. The effects of modifications on a turbine and various operating modes are therefore being analysed as are the consequences of additional noise sources, such as street noise.

The established models will subsequently be validated in comprehensive field tests under various environmental conditions. Suitable measures for reducing noise levels can be derived from this. They will be incorporated, at a later stage, into wind farm planning. Furthermore, the insights gained on noise generation and the identification or noise sources are to be used to develop technical regulations for noise reduction in wind turbines.