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Automation & Control

A Unique Way to Maintain Wind Generators

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William K.
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Re: Safe in a storm
William K.   8/27/2013 8:56:54 PM
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Cabe, what comment are you responding to?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Safe in a storm
Cabe Atwell   8/27/2013 1:59:00 PM
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Even with the redundant braking system installed, I would still want to be tethered to the railing just in case 'Murphy' shows up.

William K.
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Re: Safe in a storm
William K.   8/22/2013 5:25:14 PM
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But I am still wondering what one of those giant windmills sounds like.

Has anybody reading this ever heard one of them? Would you please comment about it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Safe in a storm
Ann R. Thryft   8/21/2013 12:01:33 PM
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I used to live closer to the city, also, and I remember that background noise of traffic from highways. It can be annoying over time. I've also heard persistent noises that are tough to trace, usually very low sounds. But once again, people don't all experience these things the same, and even the same person can't tolerate some things at some times in their lives that they could at different times. When I was a lot younger I could sleep through almost anything. But that's definitely not true now. Also, the type of sound that bugs me has changed. And how a machine detects sound and how a person does is quite different. So I doubt if there's any fixating going on. If it were up to me, I'd either have a switch or be able to afford 100 acres.

William K.
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Re: Safe in a storm
William K.   8/21/2013 4:28:13 AM
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Not only thr loud noises, but the persistant ones. Where I live, depending on the low clouds, which reflect sound back down, there are two interstae expressways a mile or so away, and the roar sounds a lot like the crashing of the surf by the ocean. Not that very loud, but a constant background din. 

So it is not that the wind turbines make a "forground" type of noise, I don't think. But from my early experience as a sound and vibratioin tech, way before I became an engineer, I became aware of the fact that some folks will fixate on sounds just barely within the realm of audibility, and complain about them. So we were recording sounds that were in the 60 to 65 dB range, which is not very loud. They show up clearly on a spectrum analyzer, but might be un-noticed by a lot of folks.

So now that you know about the sound levels where I live you may better understand why I am amazed that nobody has ever recorded the sound of a wind turbine. And I am going to have to try to get close enough to one to be able to hear it. That may be a challenge.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Safe in a storm
Ann R. Thryft   8/20/2013 12:58:12 PM
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Hmmm, I find it odd that you think if a noise is very loud, someone would have recorded it to prove how loud it is. No, I haven't heard that noise. But I don't need to experience everything myself directly to know that it exists. Barking dogs, screaming children and noisy low flying planes are obvious irritants and don't need proving to anyone. Moreover, lots of studies have been done that show what a bad health and sanity effect many loud noises have on people and animals. It's never occurred to me to try to record an irritating or even maddening loud noise, and how loud it plays back has so much to do with the circumstances of its recording. BTW, where I live, there's no background traffic noise. Either there's the noise of a car going by, or there's nothing but wind in the trees and birds, and in the winter, the creek or rain. Occasionally a barking dog, or an airplane, or the fire department's helicopters in fire season (like now). Or there's nothing, especially at night. It's wonderful.

William K.
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Re: Safe in a storm
William K.   8/20/2013 12:19:14 PM
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Ann, OK, perhaps the "get over it" was a bit insensitive. But still, if the noise really was "something", I would anticipate that somebody someplace would have made a recording of it. To hear folks complaining about something that I have never heard is a bit strange.

And while in the isolated countryside I have experienced a relative lack of noise, there is always the noisy stream or distant traffic. And for me, unlike a lot of people, there is a constant tone, about 7200Hz and equivalent to about 75dB of constant background, all the time. 

Have you ever heard the sound of the large wind turbines that they are complaining about? I am aware that some of those mast-mounted generators used to charge batteries on larger sailboats do make a noise that is conducted down the mast and then the deck functions like a sounding board. And so some makers brag about their noise isolation systems. But conducted noise into the ground would be a different thing.

So once again, have you ever heard the sound that they are complaining about?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Safe in a storm
Ann R. Thryft   8/20/2013 11:34:54 AM
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William, I don 't know whether you've lived out in the country, but I do and in a very quiet place unusual noises can be much more disturbing, especially at night. Like many people, I moved out here to be away from the city, and to hear only wind and water and birds, with an occasional coyote howl and some occasional traffic. Also, some people have more acute hearing than others, and some of us are more bothered by some things than others. So the "get over it" attitude has never made much sense to me. Not everyone has the same tolerance levels, either visually or acoustically.

William K.
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Re: Safe in a storm
William K.   8/19/2013 6:42:36 PM
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Ann, I have heard a lot of complaints about the sound of the air turbines, (windmills), but I have never ever heard any of the complainers play back a recording of this alleged noise. So my feeling is that if it is not loud enough to record then probably it is not very loud, since twenty years ago I played with a system that could record heartbeats at 5 feet. My point there is that if it were loud enough to give other people the impression that it was unpleasant then it would have been recorded and played back by the news media hundreds of times. 

And as for the appearance of windmills in the sky, my only response is "get over it", there is so much more that is so much more ugly and the other stuff provides no benefit at all. So why pick on something that does provide a benefit?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Safe in a storm
Ann R. Thryft   8/19/2013 12:49:40 PM
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William, even in a remote location many people who live off the grid (and on the grid for that matter) on lots of land like their peace and quiet, as well as unobstructed skies. I'm in the redwoods in California. Thinning tall-tree forests is not a good idea for several reasons, especially the one you mention: cooling. I hate to think how hot it would be here without the trees: to find out, I just have to drive 20 minutes to the nearest town.



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