OES-Environmental distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from researchers around the world who are exploring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. This page provides a description and contact information related to the research. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Acoustic Environmental Monitoring - Wello Penguin Cooling System Noise Study

Study Status: 
Completed
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Robert Beharie

Address: International Centre for Island Technology, Heriot-Watt University, Old Academy, Back Road, Stromness, Orkney KW16 3AW, UK

Project Description: 

The study examined the underwater sound pressure levels produced by the Wello Penguin’s cooling system. The measured sound pressure levels suggest a source level of 140.5dBrms re 1μPa at 1m. Significant narrowband harmonics are evident generally at low frequencies although it is expected that ambient background noise levels to be reached within approximately 10m from the device. There was a degree of directionality of sound production due to the position of the equipment within the hull.

 

Airborne noise could not be examined due to the generator used to power the device but found to be unlikely to have any ecological impact when access hatches are normally shut during operation.

Location of Research: 

Lyness Wharf, Island of Hoy, Orkney, Scotland

Project Aims: 

This study details the underwater sound pressure levels produced by the Wello Penguin cooling system, consisting of two cooling fans and one pump operating continuously at full speed during the survey.

Project Progress: 

Completed

Key Findings: 

Underwater noise transmitted from the cooling fans on the Penguin shows pronounced frequencies at 15Hz, at around 45Hz, and 90Hz, with more complex peaks at 140-150Hz and 250 to 300Hz. The measured sound pressure levels suggest a source level of 140.5dBrms re 1μPa at 1m. Significant narrowband harmonics are evident generally at low frequencies although it is expected that ambient background noise levels to be reached within approximately 10m from the device. There was a degree of directionality of sound production due to the position of the equipment within the hull.

Related Publications: 

Beharie, R.; Side, J. (2012). Acoustic Environmental Monitoring - Wello Penguin Cooling System Noise Study. Report by Aquatera Ltd, Heriot-Watt University, and International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT). pp 22. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/acoustic-environmental-monitoring-wello-penguin-cooling-system-noise-study

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