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Windflow Technology Working on Solution



Windflow Technology Working on Solution

Windflow Technology's pre-production wind-turbine at Gebbies Pass, near Christchurch has exceeded the noise limit of its Resource Consent. "Our monitoring has identified sound levels in McQueens Valley of about 35 dBA; this is above our 30 dBA allowance," said the company's Chief Executive, Geoff Henderson. "We have met with our neighbours to discuss the problem and our solution for it. We share their concerns and appreciate their understanding."

For comparison: a household clock may 'tick' at about 30 dBA; a household refrigerator will run at 40 to 50 dBA and bird-calls are about 50 dBA.

In applying for its Resource Consent, the company agreed to a reduced sound level in recognition of the concerns of some local residents. "Our consultations with the local community identified a particular noise issue; McQueens Valley is very sheltered from the wind and therefore has very low background sound levels even when the windmill will be running in 12-20 knot winds," Mr Henderson said. "So we agreed to a sound level lower than the District Council's normal night-time requirement of 40 dBA."

According to Mr Henderson, the steel tubular tower acts like a bell to magnify any mechanical noise from the windmill. "We commissioned the University of Canterbury to study this engineering problem, and we will implement a solution within weeks," he said. "We are totally confident in the performance of our machine, and this detailed noise issue reinforces the wisdom of our decision to build this pre-production unit."

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