A French acoustic office announced the commercial launch of a real-time acoustic monitoring solution at the EWEA in November 2015. It was developed with several partners for instrumentation, communication, control, integration and funding.

This system mainly includes a probe consisting of 4 microphones and a Class 1 sonometer, installed near the wind farm. This probe communicates with a “box” that is actually the central node of the system. This box is installed in the delivery station. It acquires and processes the data, then sends instructions to the wind turbines.

This acoustic system identifies and separates the different sound sources in the wind farm environment because each noise has its own sound characteristic. It locates these sound sources and then isolates the contribution of each wind turbine to ambient noise. The system then analyses this contribution.

All the data from this type of acoustic system is cross-referenced with the instantaneous operating data of the fleet allowing for the proper control of each sound situation encountered (stopping one of the wind turbines during a failure etc.).

Once the data is analysed, the box communicates the results and operating orders of the wind turbine, to the fleet management system. The acoustic monitoring system then ensures that sound levels are allowed to meet regulatory thresholds.

By Clément Vinet, Asset Manager