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Wind Farm Vibration Analysis

Dr John Heilig


Concerning the measurement of vibration from the operation of the wind turbines at the Waubra Wind Farm, the following presents a summary of the measurements collected at multiple locations about a residential Waubra property potentially affected by the wind farm. Vibration measurements were taken directly on a representative wind tower in the near locale. Measurements of vibration were collected both internal to the residential property and on the exterior, including walls, shed and in the ground. A total of 18 measurements sites were considered in the analyses.

Measurement Equipment

Vibration data were collected using a VISONG low frequency accelerometer with frequency capabilities varying upwards from 0.5 Hz. The tri-axial sensor was firmly bonded to measurement surface and attached to a calibrated Instantel Minimate Plus data acquisition system operating at a sampling frequency of 1024 samples per second. The system allowed for a resolution of 0.004 m/s2 with a peak measurable level of 100 m/s2. Each monitoring location was sampled for 20 seconds and for three discrete sample periods. Data for each sample period are attached to this technical letter.

Measurement Comparisons

The British Standard BS6472[141], or other similarly worded documents such as the New South Wales Environmental Protection Act EPA Vibration Guide[142], provide acceptable levels of vibration from both impulsive and continuous sources of vibration. Impulsive events are classed as those with durations of seconds and persisting infrequently during the day. Continuous events are better aligned with those from sources such as wind turbines.

A review of these documents provides for acceptable values depending upon both the nature of the premises subjected to the vibration, the time of the activity (night or day) and the orientation of the persons within the property, either standing or lying down. The documents covers dominant frequencies in the range of 1 Hz to 80 Hz...

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