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.

Measurement of Underwater Operational Noise Emitted by Wave and Tidal Stream Energy Devices

Study Status: 
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Paul Lepper             

Email: p.a.lepper@lboro.ac.uk

Project Description: 

This paper discusses some of the challenges for measurement of noise characteristics from wave and tidal harvesting devices as well as a case study of the measurement of radiated noise from a full-scale wave energy converter.

Location of Research: 

EMEC Billia Croo, Orkney, Scotland

Project Aims: 
  1. To review and discuss challenging in measuring noise characteristics of wave and tidal devices
  2. To describe operational noise from a Pelamis Wave Energy System
Project Progress: 


Key Findings: 

Challenges to the measurement of underwater radiated noise from both wave and tidal stream energy devices include harsh environments (such as fast currents), high background noise, and the wide variety of physical designs to be measured and when compared, all of these factors potentially influence the quality of the available data. To date, comparable measured data are still relatively scarce primarily due to the relatively few number of devices in water at this time and because of the challenges outlined above. These challenges often pose a series of measurement methodology compromises ranging between minimizing platform noise, such as flow noise (e.g., using drifting systems), versus recording device noise under a variety of dynamic environmental conditions (e.g., using long-term static recordings). What data are currently available for a small number of devices suggest levels that are relatively low compared with some construction activities such as marine piling and seismic air gun surveys and are comparable with other anthropogenic noise sources (Robinson and Lepper 2013). This coupled with relatively high ambient-noise and dynamic environments raises questions about collision risk as a topic for ongoing research (Wilson et al. 2007).

Related Publications: 

Lepper, P.; Robinson, S. (2016). Measurement of Underwater Operational Noise Emitted by Wave and Tidal Stream Energy Devices. The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life II (pp. 615-622). New York: Springer. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/measurement-underwater-operational-noise-emitted-wave-and-tidal-stream-energy-devices

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