Case Studies

Amherst Island Wind Project

amherst-island-wind-project-sound-power-monitoring and testing

Location: Loyalist Township, Ontario
Owner/Operator: Windlectric 

The Amherst Island Wind Project is located on Amherst Island, Loyalist Township, Ontario. The wind farm includes 26 Siemens wind turbine generators and has a total capacity to generate roughly 75 MW of electricity.

The following acoustic testing was required as per the Renewable Energy Approval (“REA”) issued to the facility by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”):

  • Sound power testing of select wind turbines (Emission Audit)
  • Sound level monitoring at several locations near the wind farm (Immission Audit)
  • Sound power testing of a transformer station

HGC Engineering was retained by Windlectric Inc. to assist in fulfilling these requirements.

wind-project-sound-power-monitoringWind Turbine Sound Power Testing (Emission Audit)

To determine the sound power output of a sample of Siemens wind turbine generators, an Emission Audit was conducted in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission 61400-11-2018 (Edition 3.1) Wind turbine generator systems – Part 11: Acoustic noise measurement techniques (IEC 61400-11).

HGC Engineering employed a state-of-the art advanced measurement system specifically designed for completing IEC 61400-11 tests. The system provides wireless communications between several sensors, including an anemometer (for measuring wind speed), a sound level analyser, and wind turbine data collection system. Data is collected and binned automatically, with user input identifying the collected data as ambient sound, interfering sound, or turbine sound, minimizing lost data. The main advantage of the system is its ability to analyze data in real-time, allowing HGC Engineering acousticians to know in the field when the required data points are collected.

Acoustic Audit at Nearby Receptor Locations (Immission Audit)

The noise contribution of the wind facility at nearby noise-sensitive receptors was determined with an Acoustic Audit – Immission, conducted in accordance with the MECP Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise (“Compliance Protocol”).

Automated, remotely accessible sound level monitoring stations were set up at each receptor location to collect the data required by the Compliance Protocol. Wind speed and direction were also recorded at each receptor location. All instruments deployed in the field by HGC Engineering staff conformed to the requirements of the Compliance Protocol

Transformer Sound Power TestingTransformer Sound Power Testing

As required by the REA, HGC Engineering performed acoustic measurements of a 50/66.5/83 MVA power transformer and associated cooling fans, both manufactured by Virginia Transformer Corporation. The measurements were conducted using sophisticated sound intensity measurement equipment in accordance with the methods described in C57.12.90 – IEEE Standard Test Code for Liquid-Immersed Distribution, Power, and Regulating Transformers and ISO 9614-1 – Determination of Sound Power Levels of Noise Sources Using Sound Intensity – Part 1: Measurement at Discrete Points.

Acoustical Engineering Services Included:

  • ISO 17025 accredited sound power testing of several wind turbine generators in accordance with the IEC 61400-11 standard
  • Acoustic Audit (Immission) of the noise contribution of the wind farm at nearby noise-sensitive receptors in accordance with MECP Compliance Protocol for Wind Turbine Noise
  • Sound power measurements of transformer using IEEE C57.12.90 and ISO 9614-1


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