Wind turbines: ENGIE Green relies on Acoem to find the best balance between efficiency and comfort for residents

ENGIE Green is France’s leading provider of wind and solar energy. In 2021 it generated as much electricity as 3 million people consume annually. This figure is expected to double very quickly, as the company currently has more than 350 installation projects in development with a potential of 5.5 GW. ENGIE Green currently operates almost 1,000 wind turbines in France and builds new ones every year, in close consultation with the regions. The acoustics department, led by Colin Le Bourdat, plays an important role in acceptance by local residents. It is he who sizes up the noise impacts, proposes solutions and enforces them.

“Our goal is to define an optimal clamping plan for each wind turbine.”

The acoustics department is responsible for recommending the extent to which the operation of the wind turbine should be limited to ensure that the noise emission is in line with expected levels. For each one, he has to find the best balance between power generation and the comfort of the residents.
To do that, Colin Le Bourdat’s team relies on the development of its own algorithms based on multiple data: noise measurement campaigns, climatic conditions, landscape, recommendations from manufacturers, etc.

The team is also working on source separation solutions to measure the noise emergence of a wind turbine without having to shut it down. In the long run, those solutions will significantly reduce the cost of inspections, which is currently around €100,000 for an average fleet.

“Having our own fleet of sound level meters allows us to be very responsive.”

ENGIE Green purchased its first ACOEM sound level meters in 2016 and combined them with monitoring services from the start. Today, the acoustics department has a fleet of 15 sound level meters stored, maintained, checked, and calibrated by ACOEM.

“It’s extremely comfortable for us,” Colin Le Bourdat explains. “We are confident that our equipment is in perfect working order and can be sent to the site of our choice very quickly. Having our own fleet also facilitates our collaboration with design offices that sometimes lack equipment. We attach great importance to responsiveness, especially in dialogue with residents. As for the ACOEM monitoring service, it is indispensable to us. We need connected sound level meters to monitor what is happening on a site in real time and to verify that our data acquisition is performed correctly. This monitoring is very complementary to the work carried out by the design offices.”

“The ACT-400 will facilitate measurements for residents.”

The collaboration between ENGIE Green and ACOEM has played an important role in the development of the ACT-400, the latest addition to the sound level meter range. The needs expressed by ENGIE Green have indeed been integrated into this new compact, connected, and intuitive equipment. The ACT-400 will be discreet in private gardens to allow ENGIE Green to be even closer to the people in its consultation process. The ACT-400 joins the ACOEM ecosystem and, like its predecessors, benefits from the new features offered by the Cadence platform.

“Cadence offers us a great deal of autonomy and very interesting prospects.”

ENGIE Green’s acoustics department uses Cadence, ACOEM’s new monitoring platform.

“We are autonomous in the management of our sound level meters. Cadence allows us to know in real time and without effort, where our equipment is, in which branch it is stored, and if it is used on projects. Apart from the purely logistical aspect which relieves us by avoiding manual monitoring of the state of the fleet — location, calibration validity date, calibration, firmware version, measurement history, etc. — Cadence is also a comprehensive monitoring tool. We can create our sites and visualize the information in real time, very easily,” Colin Le Bourdat says.

With Cadence, ACOEM meets the needs of companies which, like ENGIE Green, want to be able to export a measurement campaign in one click, modify device configurations remotely, or even set alarms and notifications on specific events.

“Cadence’s APIs are a promise of incredible comfort,” the head of acoustics department adds. “We are looking forward to using APIs to query aggregated acoustic data directly from our system. That will save us from post-processing and simplify the management of our clamping plans.”

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