How Loud Is a Wind Turbine?

Wind turbines are a great source of clean energy, but nearby residents may worry about the volume. So how noisy are they really? 

Wind turbines are typically never placed closer to a home than 300 meters. At that distance, a turbine will have a sound pressure level of 43 decibels. To put that in context, the average air conditioner can reach 50 decibels of noise, and most refrigerators run at around 40 decibels.

At 500 meters (0.3 miles) away, that sound pressure level drops to 38 decibels. In most places, according to Keith Longtin of GE Renewable Energy, background noise ranges from 40 to 45 decibels, meaning that a turbine’s noise would be lost amongst it. For the stillest, most rural areas, Longtin says the background noise is 30 decibels. At that level, a turbine located about a mile away wouldn’t be heard.

For a complete run down of louder-than-a-fridge but quieter-than-a-blender context points, check out the graphic below.

wind-turbine-smaller size

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