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.

Characteristics of the Operational Noise from Full Scale Wave Energy Converters in the Lysekil Project: Estimation of Potential Environmental Impacts

Study Status: 
Completed
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Kalle Haikonen

Address: Division of Electricity, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 534, Uppsala 751 25, Sweden

Email: kalle.haikonen@angstrom.uu.se

Project Description: 

Wave energy conversion is a clean electric power production technology. During operation there are no emissions in the form of harmful gases. However there are unsolved issues considering environmental impacts such as: electromagnetism; the artificial reef effect and underwater noise. Anthropogenic noise is increasing in the oceans worldwide and wave power will contribute to this sound pollution in the oceans; but to what extent? The main purpose of this study was to examine the noise emitted by a full scale operating Wave Energy Converter (WEC) in the Lysekil project at Uppsala University in Sweden. A minor review of the hearing capabilities of fish and marine mammals is presented to aid in the conclusions of impact from anthropogenic sound. A hydrophone was deployed to the seabed in the Lysekil research site park at distance of 20 and 40 m away from two operational WECs. The measurements were performed in the spring of 2011. The results showed that the main noise was a transient noise with most of its energy in frequencies below 1 kHz. These results indicate that several marine organisms (fish and mammals) will be able to hear the operating WECs of a distance of at least 20 m.

Funding Source: 

Statkraft AS

Institution: 
Location of Research: 

The Lysekil Research Site, Lysekil, Sweden

Project Aims: 
  1. To examine the sound emitted from operating WECs in the Lysekil project
  2. To evaluate the impacts of this noise on marine organisms
Project Progress: 

Completed

Key Findings: 

The measurements showed that the main sound emitted from the WECs was a transient/pulse noise (short duration and high amplitude). The pulse originates from when the translator hits the end stop springs (upper or lower). The results showed that the main noise was a transient noise with most of its energy in frequencies below 1 kHz. These results indicate that several marine organisms (fish and mammals) will be able to hear the operating WECs of a distance of at least 20 m.

Related Publications: 

Haikonen, K.; Sundberg, J.; Leijon, M. (2013). Characteristics of the Operational Noise from Full Scale Wave Energy Converters in the Lysekil Project: Estimation of Potential Environmental Impacts. Energies , 6(5), 2562-2582. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/characteristics-operational-noise-full-scale-wave-energy-converters-lysekil-project

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