Effects of land-based wind turbine upsizing on community sound levels and power and energy density

April 13, 2023

This webinar highlights key information from new Berkeley Lab research entitled “Effects of land-based wind turbine upsizing on community sound levels and power and energy density.” The new study simulates the development of 22 unique projects at two different prototypical sites using eleven different wind turbine models to extract output, nameplate capacity, numbers of turbines and receptor sound level patterns between projects using older, current, and future turbine models sited within a fixed land area. The analysis finds, unsurprisingly, future turbines are more than 60% taller than those installed most frequently in the last decade. Relatedly, 60% fewer turbines are expected to able to fit in the same land area in the future as they were in the past. Despite fewer turbines, plant layouts using future turbines result in projects with higher installed capacities and annual energy output for a given land area. Community sound levels at homes are expected to be significantly lower in the future, despite overall louder turbines. These lower sound levels occur not only for homes neighboring projects, but also those very close to turbines on parcels hosting turbines. Myriad other benefits appear likely as a result of increased adoption of taller higher capacity turbines in the future. The work was made possible through funding support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office.

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