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Field Testing a Full-Scale Tidal Turbine Part 3: Acoustic Characteristics

Study Status: 
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Pál Schmitt

Address: Queen’s University Belfast, Marine Laboratory 12-13 The Strand, BT22 1PF Portaferry, Northern Ireland

Email: p.schmitt@qub.ac.uk

Project Description: 

This paper presents sound measurements performed on the SCHOTTEL Instream Turbine as part of the MaRINET testing campaign at the QUB tidal test site in Portaferry during the summer of 2014. This paper demonstrates a comparison of the turbine noise emissions with the normal background noise at the test site and presents possible applications as a monitoring system.

Location of Research: 

Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland

Project Aims: 
  1. To present both fixed and drifting acoustic measurements of a full-scale operating tidal turbine
  2. To describe the influence of changes in operating mode on the sound signature
Project Progress: 


Key Findings: 

It was shown that fixing the hydrophone relative to the flow introduces low frequency noises. Allowing the hydrophone to drift with the current significantly reduces the flow noise, but requires considerable effort. Noise characteristics of a turbine vary due to mode of operation. Constant running, free spinning and braking can readily be identified for the SCHOTTEL SIT turbine. Considering the environmental background noise, thirdoctave spectral levels indicate that turbine sound is relevant from 100 Hz. Overall sound levels of the SCHOTTEL SIT turbine are on the same order as natural and other anthropogenic background noise measured at the test site.

Related Publications: 

Schmitt, P.; Elsaesser, B.; Coffin, M.; Hood, J.; Starzmann, R. (2015). Field Testing a Full-Scale Tidal Turbine Part 3: Acoustic Characteristics. Paper Presented at the 11th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, Nantes, France. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/field-testing-full-scale-tidal-turbine-part-3-acoustic-characteristics

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