Offshore Wind Farms

As the global community adopts renewable energy sources, offshore wind farms are becoming an answer to our renewable energy needs. It’s predicted that offshore wind farming will account for 10% of the total ocean economy by 2030, therefore it is import to understand and mitigate its effects on the ocean environment.

Many countries have already made passive acoustic monitoring a permit or license requirement, either throughout the entire year, or during potentially sensitive seasons such as when whales are giving birth to their calves.  As more research in conducted, scientists and researchers will start to reveal more about the effects of sound on marine mammals and the ocean environment. As technology advances it is safe to assume that passive acoustic monitoring will become a permanent and universal legal requirement.

Wind turbine under construction

Passive acoustic monitoring provides a unique opportunity to track noise levels, biological activities, and to characterize the local marine soundscape before, during and after piling operations. The loud impulses produced during pile driving are believed to be sufficiently powerful to affect the hearing of marine mammals. For this reason hydrophones are often used to monitor the area before and during piling operations. Ocean Sonics can manufacture a reduced sensitivity hydrophone specifically for pile driving operations.

As the need for renewable energy grows, offshore wind farming operations expand to meet demand. Hydrophones will be an essential tool in monitoring the effects of sound created by operational wind farms and its effect on the ocean environment.