Find topic

Can we en:form you? You can use our filter to find relevant topics. Alternatively our search function or the overview of articles can help you out.



Frequent requests

electrification emission trading energy storage energy transition innovation power stations RWE security of supply
Back to Overview
Wind turbine ultrasound emissions not high enough to cause damage
Five unis, three years of research, one project. The upshot: health curtailment not provable

Audible noise emitted from wind turbines must remain below strict limits. But this does not apply to frequencies imperceptible to the human ear: enter subsonic noise. Also exempt from these caps are ground vibrations referred to as structure-borne sound. TremAc, a research project funded by the German government, was tasked with determining the need for these threshold values. It involved five universities, including the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Munich Technical University centres of excellence, as well as engineering consultancy MesH Engineering. The declared objective was to “render the debate objective.” Research activity lasted from 2016 to early 2019.

In subjective terms, some of the local residents felt the subsonic noise from the investigated wind farms was disturbing. However, the study found that hardly any objective influence could be proven. Based on the measurements, subsonic noise emitted by the wind farms was extremely low and in some cases was drowned out by other ambient noise sources. Moreover, the study established that vibration – measured in various ground structures – was multiple times below human perception.

“This makes it highly unlikely that these wave forms cause stress or constitute a perceptible annoyance,” says psychologist Johannes Pohl from Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, according to WPD Windmanager, the operating company of one of the surveyed wind farms. However, it was determined that further studies were necessary “in order to establish a database that is more specific to wind farms and gain improved knowledge of the physical and psychological factors that can contribute to a disturbance.”

A more detailed summary of the study can be found in WPD Windmanager’s press release.

Photo credit:, elxeneize

Ask the en:former…

…and put a question to the editorial staff!

via e-mail place feedback
Feedback form

    All fields marked with * are required.

    Ask the en:former…

    …and put a question to the editorial staff!

    via E-Mail Place Feedback


    Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and stay en:formed.

    sign in
    Rate now Already rated

    share article:
    More about Power generation Energy transition Innovation