TNEI and Visualwind unveil pioneering smart monitoring equipment

Specialist energy consultancy, TNEI, has joined forces with expert technology provider, Visualwind, to develop an innovative noise monitoring solution. The WindComply Noise Module will be used exclusively by TNEI to provide smarter noise monitoring services. The self-powered modules automatically transfer noise data, rain data and battery health data to the wind farm supervision platform, WindSync for storage and analysis by TNEI’s team of acoustic specialists. The automation of wind farm noise monitoring is especially beneficial during lengthy compliance monitoring surveys where accurate noise, wind and SCADA data are analysed together during monitoring campaigns. 

There is an ever-increasing requirement to undertake noise compliance monitoring at wind energy generation sites to satisfy planning conditions, or in response to complaints from wind farm neighbours. Compliance monitoring assessments can be lengthy and expensive due to the requirement to collect data during a range of wind conditions, as well as the need for regular site visits to replace batteries and to download data for analysis. There can also be a requirement for wind farm operators to shut down production during monitoring campaigns for hours, or even days, to obtain robust data in the absence of wind turbine noise. 

Because the WindComply Noise Modules are self-powered and automatically send data to a secure cloud server, they reduce the number of site visits required during a monitoring campaign, as well as providing assurance that noise data is being collected during expensive wind turbine shutdowns. TNEI’s experts can check the status of the equipment at any time and provide clients with a prompt update on the data collected, as well as interim results.  

Extremely low power consumption and a small footprint were key design considerations and class I sound level meters are embedded in the module to provide high resolution data and audio for assessment of noise levels, tonality and amplitude modulation. 

TNEI’s Senior Technical Consultant, Moise Coulon, said, “There are existing similar smart products on the market, however we needed something specific for wind farm noise and the flexibility of adding features on request, such as automated synchronisation with SCADA data”. 

Visualwind Operations Director, Peter Longbottom said of the noise monitoring system, “The use of self-powered and internet connected environmental monitoring equipment will become increasingly important as the renewables industry embraces “Internet of Things” technology. We were very pleased to work with TNEI to bring this innovation into wind farm noise monitoring”. 

In developing this smart technology, TNEI’s aim is to provide better, more responsive noise services, and through this partnership, the WindComply Noise Module will be used in TNEI’s noise monitoring campaigns across the UK and abroad.