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AWT 26 Generates Noise Complaint

Article by: Paul Gipe


These comments were posted to awea-windnet and subsequently noise from the AWT 26 was abated. Eventually the turbines were removed when the manufacturer ceased operation.

The installation of a third AWT 26 on Cameron Ridge in the Tehachapi Pass has generated a complaint about its noise. Helen Lantz says noise from the new AWT 26 is “unacceptable.”

Lantz is the wife of Jon Lantz, an employee of Zond Systems. The Lantz’s live in Cameron Canyon just below Cameron Ridge where two AWT 26 turbines are operating.

There are three AWT 26 turbines on the FloWind site. Two have been in operation for some time. One of these is installed on a lattice tower overlooking Cameron Canyon. The third AWT 26 was recently installed nearby and also overlooks Cameron Cannon and the Lantz’s residence.

Numerous wind turbines are visible and audible from the Lantz’s ranch.

The Lantz’s find the noise most objectionable during south winds when noise from the two AWT 26 turbines sweeps over their homestead. During south winds there is a two per revolution “pounding” from the two-bladed, downwind turbines. It’s this periodic impulsive sound that the Lantz’s find annoying. There is also a mechanical “hammering” that is a component of the sound–as though two pieces of metal were hitting each other–in light winds near cut in.

Several Aeromans, another two-bladed turbine, are nearby. These upwind turbines produce a noticeable gearbox hum, but less distinctive impulsive sounds than the AWT 26. The Lantz’s find the AWT noise more objectionable than that from the Aeromans.

Does anyone have experience with the impulsive noise from downwind turbines that they would be willing to share? NREL’s Neil Kelley did quite a bit of work on this subject during the 1980s. Has anyone else?