April 2011

Multisensory Evaluation of Wind Turbines

The noise impact assessment of new infrastructures is strongly correlated with the environmental context where they are built in. The observers are influenced mainly by two types of stimuli: audio and visual. These stimuli are perceived simultaneously and both contribute to the noise impact annoyance. Different studies have found out that the visual stimuli, such as colour and movement, can influence the auditory perception (e.g. loudness).

Although for wind farms the noise impact evaluation could be not so significant if it is observed only from the acoustic point of view, the vision of the wind farms can modify the global judgement.

The aim of this study is to determine the contribution of some visual factors on wind farm noise perception and annoyance. In a laboratory test four types of visual factors (quantity of turbines, colour difference of rotor blades, rotor speed and wind turbine form) graded at different levels and the wind turbine noise were used as stimuli. They were presented to a sample of people who were then asked to assess the quality of noise through self-report questionnaires.

This project has been conducted by our team member Seckin Basturk at RiAS laboratory (SUN - Italy) within the scope of PhD research activities.