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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 1681-1697; doi:10.3390/ijerph10051681

The Effects of Vision-Related Aspects on Noise Perception of Wind Turbines in Quiet Areas

1,* , 2
1 Department of Architecture and Industrial Design "L.Vanvitelli", Second University of Naples, Via San Lorenzo ad Septimum, Aversa 81031, Italy 2 Department of Psychology, Second University of Naples, Viale Ellittico 31, Caserta 81100, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 9 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 April 2013 / Published: 26 April 2013
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Preserving the soundscape and geographic extension of quiet areas is a great challenge against the wide-spreading of environmental noise. The E.U. Environmental Noise Directive underlines the need to preserve quiet areas as a new aim for the management of noise in European countries. At the same time, due to their low population density, rural areas characterized by suitable wind are considered appropriate locations for installing wind farms. However, despite the fact that wind farms are represented as environmentally friendly projects, these plants are often viewed as visual and audible intruders, that spoil the landscape and generate noise. Even though the correlations are still unclear, it is obvious that visual impacts of wind farms could increase due to their size and coherence with respect to the rural/quiet environment. In this paper, by using the Immersive Virtual Reality technique, some visual and acoustical aspects of the impact of a wind farm on a sample of subjects were assessed and analyzed. The subjects were immersed in a virtual scenario that represented a situation of a typical rural outdoor scenario that they experienced at different distances from the wind turbines. The influence of the number and the colour of wind turbines on global, visual and auditory judgment were investigated. The main results showed that, regarding the number of wind turbines, the visual component has a weak effect on individual reactions, while the colour influences both visual and auditory individual reactions, although in a different way.
Keywords: wind turbine noise; virtual reality; quiet areas; visual influence wind turbine noise; virtual reality; quiet areas; visual influence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Maffei, L.; Iachini, T.; Masullo, M.; Aletta, F.; Sorrentino, F.; Senese, V.P.; Ruotolo, F. The Effects of Vision-Related Aspects on Noise Perception of Wind Turbines in Quiet Areas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1681-1697.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert