TNEI, an independent specialist energy consultant, has developed a Noise Feasibility Tool that lets developers and other interested parties quickly and easily assess the level of project risk based on noise. The Tool can be used early in the site selection and design process to help with mitigation efforts.
TNEI says it worked with numerous power-plant suppliers and operators and has compiled a noise database of typical plant items. Users can select a generic project development (such as a 10 or 30-MW project), and the program will produce a list of the characteristic noise levels associated with that type of development, illustrating a typical noise output.
Noise levels are combined for each piece of equipment (such as fans or generators) and risk potential. Each preset can also be tailored if additional information is provided. Environmental factors are also factored in, including the coordinates of the nearest receptors and a typical ‘noise environment’ descriptor.
TNEI has undertaken hundreds of background sound level measurements all over the UK, resulting in a large database to refer to with many types of environments. The Noise Feasibility Tool allows a number of environments to be selected, from quiet and rural, through to urban industrial. The team can identify likely background noise levels as part of this early-stage, desk-based assessment.
TNEI is now rolling out the model to assist with large-scale site finding and feasibility studies, and can highlight levels of project risk across multiple potential development sites very efficiently. This model is not designed to replace a planning application noise assessment, nor does it seek to set a pass or fail criteria for the feasibility of a development. Rather, it takes into account likely noise levels, the typical existing noise environment, and the likely unmitigated impacts.
From this, a level of risk is assigned, which can inform clients how challenging a site may be to develop, and what point noise needs to be considered within the overall site design, potentially saving a lot of disruption, expense and time delays later in the project. The risk rating can also be used to rank potential sites or can be fed into more detailed multi-topic feasibility studies.
Producing a detailed noise propagation model for a planning application takes time and relies on quality noise input data, which is often not readily available at the beginning of a project. However, by using the Noise Feasibility Tool, a high level study can be completed for a site in approximately an hour.
To discuss how TNEI’s Noise Team can help you with your projects, please contact Jim Singleton by
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