24th October 2023
The Effects of Weather on Industrial Noise Control
Author: Wakefield Acoustics – Noise Control Specialists | Last Updated: October 2023
As Britain recovers from another seasonal storm bringing high winds, torrential rainfall, and the horrendous scenes we have seen on our TV sets, this got us thinking about the effects of weather we experience in the field of industrial noise control.
Wakefield Acoustics has experience in various industries and applications, helping to diagnose and remedy environmental noise issues. Assessment of environmental noise impacts is a relatively straightforward process for an experienced acoustic consultant or noise control engineer. However, did you know that uncertainties can be brought about by the effects of the weather?
Whilst weather conditions should always be recorded as part of an acoustic survey, the effects on noise assessment can be significant. For example, wind direction and strength is a key factor for assessing noise at distance due to refraction of sound waves. This can alter the perception of noise levels, hence noise from a fixed source can be experienced on one day and not the next. Another factor is that of rain or roads that are wet. Rainy conditions can elevate background noise levels, therefore masking the impact of underlying industrial noise, that is otherwise present and causing nuisance on warm and dry days. Alternatively, if background noise levels are taken during wet conditions for a new development, this can lead to an incorrect initial assessment, putting the developer at risk of future complaints.
Also, have you noticed how peaceful it is to walk down the street on a snowy day. Snow is a porous substance, and as such, sound waves are ‘absorbed’ into the snow. This again can provide some level of masking of noise from nearby sources.
Environmental noise from industrial sources can usually be resolved by the implementation of a variety of measures depending upon application, in the form of acoustic screens, acoustic louvres, enclosures or attenuators. However, the basis of a good design solution is the source data and target noise levels, which need to be assessed without the effects of increased background noise due to inclement weather.
Wakefield Acoustics has extensive experience in providing bespoke solutions for general industrial applications: