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Case Study

Updating underwater noise guidelines for the Danish Energy Agency

New guidelines to protect marine life.

Client

Danish Energy Agency

Asset type

Revised guideline for underwater noise - Installation of impact or vibratory driven piles

Result

Revised and scientifically up-to-date regulatory document for underwater noise from the construction of offshore wind turbines

Client challenge

Our client, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA), commissioned Vysus Group to update their guidelines for the installation of impact driven piles during the construction of offshore wind farms. A number of significant scientific updates had been made since the guidelines were first issued in 2016.

Our Engineering Dynamics team has over 30 years of experience in underwater acoustics. Since the turn of the century, they have gained significant insight into underwater noise generated from the construction and operation of offshore wind farms. Based on the team’s extensive experience, the DEA invited them to join a working group with regulatory experts and marine mammal researchers to accurately address the cumulative sound exposure of animal retreating from a sound source.

How we helped

The energy generated from offshore wind farms is a key component in the energy transition, yet it is critical that the noise generated during the assessment and construction stages is carefully managed to protect marine life and ensure all regulations are met. Utilising our strong insight and specialist knowledge across multiple scientific topics, our team reviewed the technical methods for performing a numerical prognosis and on-site measurements to ensure compliance with acoustic regulations.

Powerful results

Our team developed updated guidelines which maintained the principles from the original version but with substantial additions:

  • Frequency weighting according to auditory group
  • Acoustic criteria according to auditory group
  • Specific criteria and procedures for Acoustic
    Deterrent Devices (ADD)
  • Adapted procedures for both impact and vibro-driving
  • Requirements for 2 to 3 prognosis scenarios,
    depending on the ADD

Vysus’ expert on underwater noise, Principal Consultant René Smidt Lützen, presented the working group’s findings to an international audience during a conference in Berlin, Germany in July 2022 titled, “The effects of noise on aquatic life”.

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