Task 39 Work Plan and Objectives

Please find below our work plan and objectives

Societal acceptance of new technologies is key to their successful adoption. In some jurisdictions, there is concern about the potential impact of wind turbine noise. Noise pollution from technology affects all of us and it is important to ensure that people are not exposed to excessive levels. Wind turbines are no different. We set out to consolidate our understanding of wind turbine sound emissions.

The goal of IEA Wind TCP Task 39 is to accelerate the development and deployment of quiet wind turbine technology. The task will convene an international expert panel to exchange learning, identify and report best practices in the measurement and assessment of noise, and develop an IEA Wind Recommended Practice contributing to the ongoing development of IEC standards for wind turbine noise.


A primary aim is to ensure that the best information is used to build relevant international standards and government regulations. This will help stakeholders at every level.

An additional industry perspective is that the wind turbine supply market is international and not local. Yet despite this global market, there is a wide range of national noise limits and approaches to the overall wind turbine noise assessment process. The diversity of local noise regulations can bring unwarranted compliance costs and confound progressive technical advances to develop wind turbines with lower noise impact.

By identifying best practices in an international collaboration, Task 39 hopes to improve regulations and standards and reduce unnecessary complications, increasing the effectiveness of quiet wind turbine technology.

Progress and Achievements - Phase 1

The Task 39 Phase 1 work program is articulated around three work packages corresponding to key aspects of wind turbine noise. In each of these, a number of potential sub-tasks to be addressed are identified, and some of them are selected as collaborative work activities, as described below.

Work Package 1

Interdisciplinary Education and Guidance

Work Package 2

Physics of noise

Work Package 3

Psychology of noise

Work Programme Description – Phase 1

Work Package 1

The first work package focuses on Interdisciplinary Education and Guidance. The corresponding activities encompass the writing of fact sheets and technical documents. A Catalogue of International Wind Turbine Noise Limits and Regulations is currently being drafted and should be available online in the near future so that it can be consulted and updated interactively. Further development in Phase 2 will help provide some guidelines for countries in the process of developing new or more specific policy frameworks.

Work Package 2

The second work package deals with the physics of noise and technical aspects of wind turbine noise. Two distinct benchmark exercises have been initiated. The first one is a wind turbine noise simulation codes benchmark that is conducted in collaboration with Task 29, the latter dealing with the aerodynamics of wind turbines. The second benchmark is concerned with the creation of a database of aerodynamic and noise measurements for the validation of noise models for serrated airfoils. Improvements in the serration design as a noise mitigation technique can yield further reduction of wind turbine noise emissions. The final goal is to produce an experimental database reliable enough for the validation of numerical models that are used for the prediction of serration noise, in order to improve their design. These efforts will be continued in Phase 2 of the Task.

Work Package 3

The third work package is concerned with the psychology of noise, including psycho-acoustic and human perception of wind turbine noise. Unfortunately, there have been no contributions to this part of the Task from specialists in this domain during the first phase of the task. It is intended to be addressed more actively in Phase 2.

Work Plan - Phase 2

For Phase 2 of Task 39, the objective is to propose a work program with a more balanced approach for addressing both engineering and socio-psychological aspects.

In order to encourage contributions by researchers on the human response to wind turbine noise, we have re-organized the work program to highlight opportunities for such researchers to collaborate. The new work program is summarised in the figure below and includes 5 Work Packages. These WPs are described in more detail below. The overall approach however is to address the broad wind turbine noise topic in successive steps, from wind turbine noise generation (WP2) to airborne noise propagation over large distances (WP3). The assessment of wind turbine noise and its impact on humans is addressed in WP4, while WP5 is dealing with other aspects of perception and acceptance which may not be related directly to noise itself.

Cross-cutting topics (e.g. Amplitude modulation or Low-frequency noise or other specifics) can be used as vectors for interactions between engineering and social/psychological sciences. WP1 is about dissemination and will be also considered in each of the above WPs.

The extension proposal together with the work program for Phase 2 of Task 39 can be found here.


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