Underwater Noise Measurements around a Tidal Turbine in a Busy Port Setting

Academic Article


  • Acoustic emissions from current energy converters remain an environmental concern for regulators because of their potential effects on marine life and uncertainties about their effects stemming from a lack of sufficient observational data. Several recent opportunities to characterize tidal turbine sound emissions have begun to fill knowledge gaps and provide a context for future device deployments. In July 2021, a commercial-off-the-shelf hydrophone was deployed in a free-drifting configuration to measure underwater acoustic emissions and characterize a 25 kW-rated tidal turbine at the University of New Hampshire’s Living Bridge Project in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Sampling methods and analysis were performed in alignment with the recently published IEC 62600-40 Technical Specification for acoustic characterization of marine energy converters. Results from this study indicate acoustic emissions from the turbine were below ambient sound levels and therefore did not have a significant impact on the underwater noise levels of the project site. As a component of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Triton Field Trials (TFiT) described in this Special Issue, this effort provides a valuable use case for the IEC 62600-40 Technical Specification framework and further recommendations for cost-effective technologies and methods for measuring underwater noise at future current energy converter project sites.
  • Authors

  • Haxel, Joseph
  • Zang, Xiaoqin
  • Martinez, Jayson
  • Polagye, Brian
  • Staines, Garrett
  • Deng, Zhiqun Daniel
  • Wosnik, Martin
  • O’Byrne, Patrick
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 632
  • End Page

  • 632
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 5