In the Cape Bridgewater study (2015) Steven Cooper presented a hypothesis that the disturbance from wind farms was related to changes in the power output of the wind farm. Dr Paul Schomer endorsed Cooper’s study and In June 2017 Dr Schomer presented a paper to the Wind Turbine Working Group (of the Acoustical Society of America) that the change in Electrical Power Output of a wind farm appeared to be a cause of disturbance to residents.
Steven Cooper and Mary Morris reviewed the diaries of the residents in the South Australian EPA Waterloo wind farm study, and in December 2017 presented the correlation of the residents’ disturbance with the electrical power output of the wind farm to the Acoustical Society of America’s Wind Turbine Working Group.
Cooper’s presentations at the International Congress on Acoustics (ICA) in September 2019 identified the use of the modulation index in 1/3 octave bands to show the discrete acoustic signature of wind turbines and that the frontal lobes of the brain were registering significant increases in quantitative EEG (brain activity) levels when exposed to inaudible wind turbines noise (pulsations).
Cooper then married this information with the power output of the wind farm at the time of the measurements.
One advantage we have in Australia is that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) records the data of all power utilities, which allows the ordinary person to graph cumulative and individual power generating utilities throughout the country. (Often presented in Stop These Things).
Cooper explains that during the time delay in which a turbine’s technical program works to find the blades most efficient angle to match the changing wind, it produces air turbulence behind and around the blades. It is this air turbulence from the adjusting blade angles that increases the magnitude of the pulsating waves. These pulsation waves of air occur at a very low rate and activate the brain’s sensory receptors, i.e. the signals from the outer hair cells of the inner ear (ref Prof Alec Salt). This is the mechanism of sensing the pulsations rather than hearing the noise (i.e. called Fluctuation). It has been suggested that the brain becomes confused, the brain thinks it receives noise, but there is no noise – just the pulsations.
Cooper matched the sleep disturbance with the wind changing (turbine blade angle adjustments) and vice-versa, Cooper also matched the AEMO records of fluctuating power with predicted sleep disturbance.
In December 2020 at the e-Forum Acusticum 2000 (in France) Cooper merged all the above material with the use of an Apple iWatch sleep app, the absolute change in power output, and additional noise monitoring, to show a relationship between the change in power output of a wind farm and the disturbance to sleep (Acusticum 2020 paper: Wind Turbine Noise: Psychoacoustics to the Rescue).
This outcome of his years of on-going acoustical research is now accessible to everyone in Australia with an iWatch (and the results can be added to his database for the peer revised articles in the future). Already, a number of residents in Australia are undertaking baseline noise and sleep studies in preparation of the potential impacts of proposed wind farms and obtaining data using Cooper’s method. Also, people currently impacted by wind farms in Australia are participating in the Cooper detection method of sleep disturbance by wind turbine (to expand the database).
Sleep Disturbance is the major health effect problem caused by Wind Turbines.
“When people are exposed to Wind Turbine noise on an on-going basis – it has been shown that a reasonable number of people become sensitised to noise”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), state that on-going sleep disturbance can become a health impact.
In the state of Victoria (in Australia) Wind Farms must comply with NZ Standards either the NZ 6808-1998 or NZ
6808-2010, and the reference documents used in these NZ Standards relate back to the WHO community noise guidelines.
The iWatch technology puts the power in the hands of the ordinary person. Now everyone can measure their level of sleep disturbance – and provide personal data to show the effects of wind turbines.
All you need is an Apple iWatch – To Record your Sleep Patterns before the Turbines are built –
then after the Turbines are built.
What to do.
1. Purchase an Apple iWatch, either the Series 6 or the SE model (NOT the Series 5 or down – for this exercise there are battery issues).
2. Upload the sleep tracking App – recommended “SleepMatic”, and
3. Use the setting maximum “optimum sensitivity”, this will track your undisturbed sleep or disturbed sleep.
4. This is your personal sleep noise level data, based on YOU, not on a mathematical road traffic noise level.
5. The data loads from the Apple iWatch to your iPhone.
6. Take a screen shot each day of the SleepMatic results (press upper left button and the right button simultaneously). Remember to take the screen shot – this is picture of your evidence file.
7. Back up your data onto your phone iCloud. Really important to ensure data is transferred to your computer or thumb drive or stored in your iCloud – or however you like to store your important files.
8. Then when the turbines are built – record your sleep patterns with the turbines.
9. Best to record your pre-turbine sleep over several nights – or keep it on wrist and download weeks of data.
10. This data can be tucked away as part of your evidence bank.
11. Then when the turbines are built, and your sleep is disturbed, repeat the exercise and you have a diary of data at your disposal.
12. Your personal sleep pattern data could be extremely useful proving the wind farm is non-compliant due
to your disturbed sleep.
13. If the post-turbine data shows disturbed sleep during certain weather conditions (for example during a certain wind direction and wind speed, or at certain power outputs, or power ramping up or down), then you have the evidence to help support a complaint or litigation case.
14. This is valid evidence to support a complaint that you may take up with the Wind Farm Company, the EPA
or future Regulator.
SleepMatic Data and correlating Wind Energy Production.
The data produced by a SleepMatic iWatch App, can be matched to the AEMO wind reports.
This Data from your iWatch and the AEMO data can be evidence that the turbine next door is causing your sleep disturbance.
The following screenshot of the SleepMatic data output is from a person effected by a wind farm in Australia. This person’s diary comment for that night is “This was a rough, rough night. Awake for ages with the high output”.
The restless/disturbed/lack of sleep is recorded by the iWatch and matched against the AEMO wind reports. The attached AMEO chart shows significant power output variations that night – and correlate with the times in the night of sleep disturbance.