Wind turbine syndrome: Farm hosts tell a very different story | RenewEconomy

Wind turbine syndrome: Farm hosts tell a very different story

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People who host wind turbines on their properties and derive rental income from wind energy have important stories to tell, but is anyone listening?

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The Conversation

People who host wind turbines on their properties and derive rental income from wind energy companies have important stories to tell about living alongside turbines, but they’ve largely been absent from the debate on wind farms and health. Australian filmmaker and researcher Neil Barrett is finally giving this critical group a voice in his new short film, The way the wind blows, released today.

In Barrett’s short film, 15 hosts and some of their neighbours from the central Victorian district near the town of Waubra tell what it’s like to live surrounded by large turbines.

Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land. In the bush, the expression that wind farms can “drought-proof a farm” is common: a land owner with ten turbines can wake up each morning comfortable in the thought that a tough year with poor rain or bad frosts can be ridden out, thanks to income from wind generation.

All of Barrett’s interviewees say they can hear the turbines but none say they are bothered by them or suffer from any health problems they attribute to the turbines. If there is such a phenomenon as “wind turbine syndrome” it would seem it is a condition that, remarkably, can be prevented by the wonder drug called money.

Significantly, too, none of those interviewed say their contracts prevent them from speaking publicly about their experiences with hosting turbines, repudiating the mantra of wind farm opponents that suffering hosts are gagged from speaking out by evil wind companies.

In 2010, a small group comprising mostly wealthy landowners established the Waubra Foundation, which opposes wind farms being established near their country estates. None of the directors of the foundation nor its chief executive, an unregistered former GP Sarah Laurie, live within 125km of Waubra, yet took on the name of the town to highlight what they believe are serious health problems associated with living near wind turbines.

Barrett’s film reveals the deep resentment that Waubra residents feel about these out-of-towners hijacking their town’s good name. None say that Laurie has ever contacted them, with one commenting, “I wouldn’t give them the time of day if they turned up here.”

Laurie and the Waubra Foundation have done all they can to spread concern about the harms they allege are caused by living near wind farms. One former Waubra resident has been particularly prominent, speaking emotionally at anti-wind farm meetings about how wind farms have ruined his health and caused his family to move to Ballarat, at great personal expense.

In a statement that would be of immense interest to Apple, Samsung and Nokia, he recently told a meeting in Barringhup that electricity generated by wind turbines started charging his cell phone without it being plugged in:

I’ve had my … mobile phone go into charge mode in the middle of the paddock, away from everywhere.

In 2012, he wrote a public submission to a parliamentary inquiry where he revealed he had suffered a serious head injury some eight years before the wind farm opened in 2010:

I have been in brain training care and rehabilitation for about ten years because of an unfortunate, unrelated accident.

Indeed, the most common health complaints voiced by complainants are problems such as disturbed sleep, anxiety, hypertension and normal problems of ageing that are very prevalent in all communities, regardless of whether they have wind farms.

In a 2012 Ontario legal case, complainants were asked to provide their medical records going back a decade before the local wind farm commenced operation. This would have provided relevant information about any pre-existing health problems. When they failed to so, their case failed.

In a peer-reviewed paper of mine to be published shortly, I conducted an historical audit of all known health and noise complaints made about Australia’s 51 wind farms from 1993 to 2012. Using four sources (wind company records, submissions made to three parliamentary enquiries, local media monitoring records and court affidavits) I calculated the number of complainants around Australia.

More than two-thirds of Australian wind farms including more than half of those with large turbines have never received a single complaint. Two whole states – Western Australia and Tasmania – have seen no complaints.

Of the 129 individuals across Australia who have ever complained, 94 (73%) are residents near just six wind farms which have been targeted by anti wind farm groups.

Almost all (98%) of complainants made their first complaint after 2009 when anti wind farm groups began to add health concerns to their wider opposition. In the preceding years, health or noise complaints were rare despite large and small-turbine wind farms having operated for many years.

In late 2012, anti-wind farm campaigners launched an anonymous website, Stop These Things. The apparently well-funded site specialises in emotive videos of wind farm victims, but in nine months has only run profiles of 18 mostly aged complainants. Barrett’s film profiles nearly that number of people telling a very different story.

Anti-wind farm activists have promoted a bizarre and ever-growing number of health problems associated with turbine exposure. My favourite is the alarming problem of disoriented echidnas.

Among Laurie’s more interesting claims is that wind turbines cause lips to vibrate at up 10 kilometres, and that within 1km to 2km of wind turbines, air pressure changes occur “sufficient to knock them off their feet or bring some men to their knees when out working in their paddock” and “have been reported by farmers to perceptibly rock stationary cars”.

Laurie has repeatedly claimed that “a large number” or “over twenty families” and most recently “more than forty” families are “wind farm refugees” who have had to abandon their homes. But Laurie has declined requests to make her list public.

Another prominent activist George Papadopolous, claims to be able to sense a wind turbine at 100km away: from Sydney’s CBD to Lithgow, as the crow flies.

Barrett’s film brings a fresh and important perspective to a debate that has so far been dominated by a small number of complainants and those oxygenating their fears.

Fifteen years ago, Australian news media ran countless stories on community fears about mobile phone towers. Those still worrying about health risks from the towers are rare today. Wind turbine syndrome is likely to go the same way.

Simon Chapman AO is Professor of Public Health at University of Sydney. He receives no financial or other material support from any company or person in the wind energy industry or agents acting on their behalf.The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
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  1. Chris Fraser 7 years ago

    I think it should be possible to charge a mobile phone in the middle of a paddock if you have a magnetic personality. Moving a conductor (or phone) through a magnetic field generates a current from one end of it to the other. Even so, it has nothing to do with wind turbines.

    • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

      Chris, I suggest that if the claim is true it might have a little to do with stray voltage.

      • Tom 7 years ago

        I think you mean stray current. Voltage alone cannot charge a phone. Anyway your point is redundant because there are detectors on the lines to look for such currents. If a difference is detected between phases or ground the turbines are tripped offline. This safety feature is common to all power lines which is why “stray voltage” doesn’t affect anyone, anywhere near electricity infrastructure.

        • Blair Donaldson 7 years ago

          Notice how George doesn’t like to read information which corrects and highlights his ignorance?

          • Will Robertson 7 years ago

            That was a painful string of comments to read in one go. I was impressed by George’s tenacity but it reminds me heavily of the Identity-protective cognition thesis where there is a disabling ofvyhe faculties to make sense of decision relevant science. Can I recommend people read the article “Motivated numeracy and enlightened self government” by the Cultural Cognition Project.

        • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

          Tom, yes perhaps stray current.
          Are you referring however to stray current presenting from the wind farm installation or from harmonics in the primary neutral?

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Neither exist. I think you may have gotten overexcited when you saw people lighting fluorescent tubes under HV lines. The same can’t happen with phones. I would highly recommend that you do first year physics. It may make you a lot less worried about modern technology.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Tom, neither exist? That’s what you think!

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Go get some measurements. Or look for an AEMO report outlining why the grid collapsed due to “stray voltage”. Come back with some evidence to educate us with, rather than science fiction stories.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago
          • Tom 7 years ago

            That could be a risk for SWER lines but not transmission. Ground currents would be instantly detected and trip the line, as mentioned above.

          • Tom 7 years ago

            I should have mentioned, SWER lines are ‘single wire earth return’. Common in rural, residential areas because it foregoes the need for an earth wire = cheaper but dodgier.

      • Catprog 7 years ago

        I can generate high voltage myself. Rub two bits of fur together and static electricity is generated. Static electricity is very high voltage compared with grid electricity.

  2. George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

    Can the sociologist “public health expert” about his “research” and interpretation of it:

    1) In the reference provided, where do I claim to hear ONE wind turbine 100km away?

    2) Chapman says: “Turbine hosts at Waubra earn A$8,000 a year for each turbine on their land” BUT “they can hear the turbines but none say they are bothered by them or suffer from any health problems they attribute to the turbines.”
    Placebo effect perhaps, maybe denial, much like smokers who don’t attribute their health to smoking? But strangely NO mention of whether hosts actually live on the property and are able to sleep their 365 days of the year without being kept awake some nights…

    3) Chapman again won’t investigate the claims of electromagnetic radiation around Waubra, or ask others to do so, because he is aware the man who made the claims has “brain damage”. What about the published research on electromagnetic radiation around wind farms? Why does Chapman feel the man’s “brain damage” had anything to do with these claims?

    • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

      George, why not watch the videos and see what the hosts and neighbours say for themselves?

      • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

        Mike, have you watched any of the videos presenting the stories of wind turbine victims? I can supply you with a list if you haven’t.

        • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

          Yes, and you are changing the topic.

          I take it based on your response and comments that you have not watched the videos and do not intend to. Please confirm. Silence on this point is, of course, confirmation.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Mike, my apologies, but can someone get me a copy of one of those Waubra contracts? There is no mention about gag clauses – just people stating that Acciona hasn’t stopped them from speaking to others.
            Oops I’ve changed topic. Now back to my original questions Chapman.

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            George, you have an absurdly high regard for your centrality and importance, do you know that? Why in hell would anyone share a commercial contract of any sort with you? Why would you even think anyone would? You — like me frankly — are a random gadfly. I wouldn’t presume that anyone at Waubra would show me their mortgage, their car loan papers or their wedding license, and I wouldn’t assume that they would show me a contract on a commercial venture that they entered into. They appeared to have showed them to Neil Barrett. He videotaped them. Presumably he read them. The documentaries say no gag clauses and the people who signed them say that they can say what they want.

            So lets see. More people and households are interviewed than all of the registered complaints at Waubra. They say that they like the wind turbines, they can hear them occasionally and that they don’t bother them. They live well under — what was it again? 70 km? 100 km? — Oh yes, they live 800 m or less from some and are surrounded by up to 27 of them that they can see. They say that they and people that they know have no health problems. They say that they are allowed to say whatever they want.

            Surely George, since you don’t believe statistical evidence, but only anecdotal evidence on wind energy, surely this must be adequate? Surely the plainspun honesty of these people living with wind turbines with… um… no issues whatsoever must press upon you?

            Instead, you are second-guessing the words of local farmers as if you are a lawyer instead of a pharmacist with a sideline in EMF ghost hunting, looking for silly loopholes. And requesting that people in Singapore get you copies of contracts with people in Waubra?

            Nutty. And deeply egotistical.

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            Here is an excerpt from a wind turbine lease in my area. Would you sign this contract?
            “Lessor grants to lessee a non-exclusive license for audio, visual, view, light, flicker, noise, shadow, vibration, air turbulence, wake, electromagnetic, electrical and radio frequency interference, and any other effects attributable to the wind power facilities or activity located on the leased lands or on adjacent properties (“effects of license”).The burden of the effects of license shall run with and bind the lands and every part thereof and benefit the lessee’s interest in the leased lands and such other lands that the lessee may have a real property interest in the leased lands and such other lands that the lessee may have a real property interest in from time to time and which form part of the project. If requested by the lesssee, the lessor shall execute and deliver to the lessee such separate and registerable transfer of easements which reproduce the terms of the effects license.”

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            Here is another wind turbine lease from a different wind corporation in Ontario. Again it doesn’t look good on the wind industry:
            “free and unencumbered easement…over, along, and upon the Transferor’s Lands for the right and privilege to permit heat, sound, vibration, shadow, flickering of light, noise (including grey noise) or any other adverse effect or combination thereof resulting directly or indirectly from the operation of the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities situated…within the Townships of Melancthon and Amaranth, in the County of Dufferin…”.

            “…The Transferor further acknowledges and agrees that the operation of the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities located on the Leasehold Lands may affect the living environment of the Transferor and that the Transferee will not be responsible or liable for, of and from any of the Transferor’s complaints, claims, demands, suits, actions, or causes of action of every kind known or unknown which may arise directly or indirectly from the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities on the Leasehold Lands to the extent permitted by this Easement”.

            “In addition, the Transferor hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Transferee from any and all liabilities, claims, demands, costs and expenses arising from any direct, indirect or consequential damages arising out of a complaint, claim, action or cause of action initiated by the Transferor as against the Transferee for anything permitted by this Easement in relation to the Transferee’s wind turbine facilities located on the Leasehold Lands”.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            So Dan, a contract that condemns the host. Thank you very much for your postings.

          • Sarah D 7 years ago

            Condemns the host? Your (and Dan’s) interpretation of these contracts (which are anyway not relative to the Waubra ones under discussion) seems very much a reflection of what’s in your mind, rather than what’s actually written there.

            As has already been stated elsewhere, the real issue could be that we are, perhaps, seeing publicly for the first time, ordinary folk in Australia telling us there’s no gag clauses.

            You’ll both, I’m sure, understand that this means that there’s yet another myth that wind farm opponents will no longer be able to sustain.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Sarah, if there are no “gag” clauses, then there might be “commercial in confidence” clauses. There might also be other fancy buzz words in the contract which slip away from the “gag” clause definition.
            Why do you think then that Acciona doesn’t permit a copy of its contract go public, and why do you think Sarah Laurie originally claimed that people were “gagged” about speaking out? Has it ever passed your mind that maybe Acciona uses different contracts for different people?

          • Sarah D 7 years ago

            Indeed, I’d say it can make a lot of sense to use different contracts for different people, but not for any reasons you imply. I’ve negotiated different terms to standard contracts myself. Contracts are typically a 2 way process; not a conspiracy theory.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Sarah, maybe you need to speak to a solicitor. They should do a good job at warning about how well the 2 way process works sometimes…

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            The wind corporation’s contracts are almost always a one way street. The salesman push very hard to get the landowner to sign the contract without getting an ILA (Independent Legal Advice).

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            Gag clauses are signed when the wind corproation buys out the wind victims unliveable property. This has happened in Ontario many times already.

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            By the way Sarah would you sign a lease with any of the clauses I have excerpted?

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Dan, I have always suspected that there are “articles of faith” that must be adhered to or else one is excommunicated from the wind turbine religion.

          • Sarah D 7 years ago

            Actually, I’ve just signed a contract for international travel insurance, whose conditions are far more terrifying than anything I see here.

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            That’s silly, I’m not asking about travel insurance. Now answer the question. Would you sign a lease on your property with any of the above conditions

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Mike, the video was another anecdotal report against the anecdotes of others. The studies of Nissenbaum 2013 and Shepherd 2012 are based on statistics that reached significance.
            I didn’t hear one host in that video state that they are not restricted in any way by the contract to get Acciona’s permission to speak to the public about their experience. Does that explain why it took two-three years since the “Waubra disease” reports started to finally get some, but not all hosts to make their testimonies?

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            How reliable are individual wind and health studies as evidence? Assessing five factors — quality of publication, hierarchy of evidence, full declaration of any biases, inclusions and exclusions of references and methodology and structure of the evidence — can assist in rapidly getting a sense of how much weight to put on individual wind and health pieces of evidence.

            Analysis of the 50 most commonly cited studies, reviews and governmental reports used by both sides finds that the literature used by anti-wind campaigners to claim health impacts is much, much less reliable than the evidence showing no health impacts outside of limited noise annoyance to some.

          • Dan Wrightman 7 years ago

            It hardly boosts your credibility when you constantly self reference your little vanity project/blog.

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            And it hardly boosts your credibility when you never provide any references and are consistently and solely negative.

            Do try telling us what you are actually for sometime, instead of spreading defamation and smears in your path like a toxic snail.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Mike, here is what others think your analysis:


          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            How amusing! I hadn’t realized that they’d bothered to respond to my Rapid Response. No one had bothered to point it out.

            For those wondering what George is muttering about, three folks with irrelevant or at best tangential credentials — a chartered management accountant, a retired pharmacist and a rural GP — managed to slip by peer review in Canadian Family Physician with a deeply biased article that basically ignored a bunch of stuff and tried to elevate a bunch of very weak references into something more.

            I put together a quick Rapid Response ripping it to the shreds it deserved to be in. See this for the full version I put on my blog.

            Of course, I wasn’t the only one who tore the Commentary to shreds. Here’s a sample from the Rapid Responses. Oddly, Krogh et al didn’t respond to the thrashing they received from these fine fellows, but picked on the blogger. How odd.

            Kieran Moore, Associate Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health, W. David Colby, Chatham-Kent Medical Off
            In this article, the authors’ statement that “owing to the lack of adequately protective siting guidelines, people exposed to IWTs can be expected to present to their family physicians in increasing numbers” is both alarmist and inappropriate.

            W. David Colby, Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health
            Professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
            From the use of the inflammatory qualifier “industrial” in the title to the declaration of “Competing Interests” at the end, this article is anti-wind turbine propaganda. Although designated as “Commentary”, the peer reviewed status implies some level of endorsement. I asked almost every physician with expertise about wind turbines and health in Canada if they had been asked to review this article and none had.

            The article is replete with unreferenced and often alarmist statements, selective citations (e.g. quoting the WHO definition of health to support the concept that annoyance itself is a health effect, without mentioning that the WHO does not use annoyance as a measured health end point) (1) and statements relying on unscientific references. If these were edited from the article, little would remain.

            Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Farhan Asrar
            Peterborough County-City Health Unit
            We agree with the observations that individuals that are angry or annoyed are bound to experience symptoms such as stress or sleep disturbance. Empathy from their primary care provider is always a good approach. However, the commentary, as a whole, was hyperbolic and not something that family physicians should rely upon for advice or as a reference.

            Gideon Forman , Executive Director
            Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
            Virtually absent from this article is any discussion of the hazards posed by other forms of energy generation.

            Coal-fired facilities, for instance, are a significant source of chromium and arsenic (carcinogens), sulphur dioxide (acid rain), dioxin, and of course greenhouse gases. Ontario’s coal plants, for example, were once the single largest source of GHGs in the province.

            Dr. Jeffrey and his colleagues conclude in their article that “industrial wind turbines can harm human health”. Unfortunately the remainder of their commentary provides no evidence that this is so.

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            Thanks for pointing this out George. I’ve updated my blog post on their shlocky Commentary based on this interaction.

            Won’t it be fun the next time you try this weird tactic and get shot down in flames at embarrassing length quickly?

            I do love a couple of their remarks by the way.

            First, they deny that the Society for Wind Vigilance is an anti-wind organization. That’s downright hilarious, as virtually every member of the board of advisors is fighting wind farms near their homes, or like Carl Phillips has a history of taking the most convenient money to testify on the wrong side of evidence and science (for those not in the know, he took a lot of money from the tobacco industry and then kept saying that chewing tobacco was pretty damned healthy for people).

            Second, they cherry-pick a quote from Geoff Leventhall to support their , when Mr. Leventhall’s expert opinions on wind energy and health are widely available and clearly stated. This, of course, despite his efforts to stamp out misuse of his name.

            Hey, George, did you hear that Krogh was at the Denver wind energy and health conference a couple of weeks ago presenting this BS by the way? And she was shot down publicly, humiliatingly and massively by Dr. Colby for misuse of references, cherry picking and misstating?

            Gotta love antis like Krogh and her hubby and coauthor Horner (the CMA). They move to a small town for their retirement, then get pissed off when the small town wants to have a better economy and start fighting against it tooth and nail, against the better interests of the people who are trying to make a living and raise their children there.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Mike, the accusations against Krogh were patently baseless. Colby and others just had a chance to howl their lungs out but didn’t mention specifically what was wrong with Krogh’s interpretation of references.

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            You misspelled something there. Not sure how, but “completely and utterly destroyed her base premises” was misspelled as “had a chance to howl their lungs out”.

            You might want to upgrade your computer to something that catches obvious typos like that.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Mike, I really struggle to follow your logic. There are no other studies like those performed by Nissenbaum et al and Shepherd et al – the rest are all opinions, reviews (which missed these two studies) and reports.

          • Mike Barnard 7 years ago

            I know you fail to follow the logic George, because you keep saying so. We understand the difficulty.

            Let me try spelling it out for you as you refuse, apparently, to read the referenced material.

            Evidence-based medicine is the basis of modern diagnosis and treatment. It has a hierarchy of evidence.

            The literature reviews of all available evidence are of greater evidentiary value than any individual study, regardless of quality.

            The two studies are very weak regardless and don’t pass muster.

            The Nissenbaum study has very significant failings and fundamentally does not show what it purports to show. Two separate critiques were published April 2013 in Noise and Health: asserted correlation to data which was not supportable, average person in study and control groups was poor sleeper by Epworth and PQSI scales, assertion of health impacts that were not supported by the data.

            The Shepherd study – by which I assume you mean the NZ study — has been rejected for poor quality by every tribunal it’s been brought forward for due to it’s failings. Study of quality of life via surveys of people living near wind farms vs control group distant from wind farms by independent researchers. Study ignored TV coverage promoting wind health impacts and recency of wind farm startup as factors, as well as historical literature which indicates importance of these factors. Accepts Pierpont, Salt and Harry very weak papers without qualification. Small study size of 39 and non-equivalent control group, but very strong conclusion of > 2km setbacks in hilly terrain. Study found no self-reported variance in health or current illness, but ignored that finding in conclusions. Found reduced quality of life scores. This paper rejected as evidence at Australian Environmental Court due to quality concerns.

            That you hold onto anecdotal evidence — at the very bottom of the hierarchy of evidence — and these two studies — very weak and in the middle of the hierarchy of evidence, over literature reviews of all of the available literature on noise, health and wind farms merely shows that you don’t understand evidence based medicine.

            Of course, this is obvious from your sideline of EMF ghost busting, but I thought I’d spell it out for you.

    • Neville Bott 7 years ago

      As coal fired power plants have about 10x the electromagnetic radiation (ie around 1GW vs 100MW ) of a large wind farm, how is it that we don’t have coal power station syndrome?

      If you can explain how the power produced by a coal power station is somehow different to a wind turbine then your contribution to physics would be as great as say Maxwell or Faraday.

      • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

        Neville, unlike magnet generators, inverters produce harmonics:

        Walling RPE, Mueller D, 2011, Harmonics and Resonance Issues in Wind Power, IEEE PES General
        Meeting July 26th, 2011 Detroit, MI.

        • Paul 7 years ago

          George, harmonics on a power networks are caused by everything from fluoro lights to welders. Grid power has always had harmonics. Inverters used in PV systems actually produce a sine wave that is a lot lower in THD than the average grid…not sure about wind turbines but I doubt they would be much different. But even if they did produce a high level of THD then so what …there had never been any indication that harmonics in a power network cause any health issues.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Paul, harmonics above the range of 1500 hertz dissipate into the human body. Inverters typically produce harmonics in the range.
            Harmonics in three phase systems don’t cancel out in the neutral and stray out through earthing points once the impedance in the neutral becomes significant.

          • Paul 7 years ago

            George. A couple of key points I want to re emphasize:
            : Wind turbines do not create significant harmonics in the power network. It even says this in the article you linked to (see conclusion part 2 page 35)
            : severe THD in power networks can impact the “health” of sensitive electrical equipment. Harmonics in power networks are not related to health issues in humans…high frequency, low frequency, mid frequency…what ever …it doesnt matter. If you have evidence to the contrary please share it with us.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            “in general” says the conclusion, but sometimes, a significant source of harmonic distortion:


            I hope this clarifies the matter.

          • Paul 7 years ago

            Not really no. Again the article says that the impact of wind turbines on harmonics on power networks is low…in fact I quote from the article “…at harmonic frequencies their emission is much smaller than the emission from industrial, commercial or domestic installations”…but as I said before it doesnt matter if they were worse…as harmonics in power networks are not known to have any health impacts in humans. Surely before this discussion goes further what should first be established is do harmonics in power networks have negative health impacts. If you can first prove this is a problem then we can talk about the cause.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Paul, I will say it again, harmonic of more than 1500 hertz dissipate into the human body.

            Here is one paper that elaborates on this:

            Milham S, Morgan L, 2008, ‘A New Electromagnetic Exposure Metric: High Frequency Voltage Transients Associated With Increased Cancer Incidence in Teachers in a California School’, American Journal of Industrial Medicine vol. 51, pp579–586.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Posted in error

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Wow. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that you don’t know crap about power systems. “magnet generators” which ones? Coal power certainly doesn’t use ’em. “1500 Hz” -is often a signal carrier. Did you even read the link you posted? I guess you didn’t understand the physics huh?
            Like Paul said harmonics from wind farms are small. Pretty much in line with regular generation and certainly much cleaner than some appliances.
            If you can prove a link between wind generators and health you’d get the Nobel prize for physics and medicine. Why don’t you start with some evidence instead of throwing around jargon like you actually understand it?

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Paul and Tom, did you read the references I posted? I think they clarify the issue that under some circumstances wind farms do become significant emitters of harmonics, and the paper by Milham goes into further detail about harmonics and human health.

          • Paul 7 years ago

            George. I read two of the three links as previously noted and quoted. The third link is not a link but a journal article. I can find the abstrct for the article but not the article itself. The abstract suggests the issue is about the impacts of HV transmission line on health….not wind turbines. So if the article is correct and HV transmission lines cause cancer then you should be attacking them and not wind turbines…or at least be balnced and attack all forms of electrcity generation.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Paul, I suggest you try your hands on the original article. It discusses high voltage TRANSIENTS, not high voltage powerlines. That is frequencies measurable by a Graham-Stetzer metre 5-100 khertz.

          • Paul 7 years ago

            George. Given how the other two article you provided were so poorly interpreted by you then I can only believe that this third article is also taken out of context. Given you have access to the article then provide a link.
            If these wind turbines are as dangerous as you say then there must loads of evidence of this ?? surely?? but I see nothing like this in any of the information you are providing.
            Have you considered another hypothesis. i.e.wind turbines,are no more harmful than any other electrical generation technology and in many cases alot less harmful (i.e. Coal and Nuclear generation)

            Just a thought

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Paul, before we continue our discussion can I ask you about your background? Maybe I need to be a bit more explicit and give you more reading material so you understand where I come from.

            I do strongly suggest that you familiarise your self with the research Magda Havas has done with regards to dirty electricity:

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            And by the way, from the first reference that you place your trust in: “Wind plants tend to have resonances – Attract and amplify ambient grid distortion”

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Not the farms themselves but the cap banks. Cap banks are present throughout the entire transmission and distribution system for voltage and VAR support. The author clearly spells that out. Oh I forgot, you aren’t an energy specialist in any way.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            No I’m not an energy specialist Tom, much like you aren’t a health professional. But peculiarities of EMR and how they relate to human health is an area of great interest to me..

          • Tom 7 years ago

            That’s great, but if this is a hobby you should stop inciting fear with your nonsense fairy tales.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            so Tom, when I assess according to the Austrian Medical Association guidelines I am inciting fears with fairy tales?


          • Tom 7 years ago

            They mentioned everything electrical as a source of EMF. What makes wind turbines different to cordless phones or wifi in your opinion?

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Tom, this a question that needs no answer – particularly when posed by someone who is “electronically” literate.

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Enlighten me. For anyone else who is interested why one very particular electrical device is so vastly different to all the others.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Tom, its a hard act to follow, but Chapman in recent times suggested that I walk in people’s home with a meter and warn them of “evil” radiation. Can you see me doing that?

          • Tom 7 years ago

            Paul’s original question was why other generators are not sources of the nefarious EMF. We have both stated that the electrical characteristics of wind farms are unremarkable. Please explain why EMF from wind farms is a threat but EMF from other generators is acceptable.

          • George Papadopoulos 7 years ago

            Tom, I haven’t seen so many bizarre health problems elsewhere, so other forms of electricity generation haven’t attracted my attention.

          • Tom 7 years ago

            I’m an engineer currently working for a renewable energy company.
            Please explain why EMF from wind farms is a threat but EMF from other generators is acceptable.
            Also please state your qualifications and how they are relevant to this issue.
            If you do not answer these questions directly, I and all other readers will have to assume 1. you have no idea what the difference in EMF between generators is, and 2. you have no qualifications relevant to the topic of health.