Heerema Marine Contractors
Measuring sound levels at concerts, in the city’s nightlife or at industrial sites is very common. The data is mostly used to enforce regulations, so the disturbance doesn’t get out of hand.
But what if sound level measurements are not enough and you need to find the source of the noise so you can minimize noise pollution? Not in a city or industrial site, but out on the open sea! For their offshore construction projects Heerema Marine Contractors needed to understand the sound and not just measure it.
"We wanted to see if it was the hammer on top, the pile vibrating or something else that causes the most noise. We needed to visualize how the sound travelled through the pile so we could really understand the acoustics behind it."
– Quote Annabel Smith-Moorhouse, Heerema Marine Contractors
Understanding the sound
In some areas around the world, offshore construction is being planned closer to shore. In order to better understand the impact on land caused by offshore construction activities, we first needed to understand the sound and find out which part of the process was causing the most noise.
Visualize how sound travels
“The reason why we went for Sorama over anything else is because the CAM iV64 is an acoustic camera. Not just an acoustic recorder. We were really interested in understanding the behavior of sound. When we were installing the foundations of this particular substation, we needed to hammer four piles into the seabed to secure the structure. We wanted to pinpoint the sound source and that’s why we went for Sorama. We wanted to see whether the hammer on top of the pile made the most noise or the vibration of the pile itself. And for us, we needed to really understand the acoustics behind that.”
In the middle of the sea
“We had the CAM iV64 attached to a scaffold on a vessel in the middle of the sea. We were really happy with the remote monitoring over Wi-Fi, which allowed us to take recordings from inside the vessel, instead of having to sit outside at 1am in the morning in the freezing cold in the middle of the North Sea. If it can work offshore, it can work anywhere. It worked on a vessel in the middle of the sea and that’s pretty impressive.”
Knowledge is key
Knowing what part of the process makes the most noise gives us an opportunity to make changes to the process and minimize the noise during piling. The CAM iV64 gave us the insights we needed in order to understand noise pollution and disturbance at sea as well as on land during future construction projects.
Sorama's vision on offshore windmill parks
With the European Union’s strategy on offshore renewable energy gaining momentum, the construction of windmill parks is set to soar in the coming years. In fact, the EU witnessed a staggering 14.6 GW of installed offshore wind capacity in 2021 alone*, and this number is projected to increase by at least 25 times by 2030*. As we prepare to erect numerous wind turbines at sea, it is crucial to address the often-overlooked factor of offshore airborne sound during the piling process.
While much attention has been rightfully placed on the impact of underwater noise on marine life, we must also consider the consequences of sound and vibrations in the air. The effects of noise pollution extend beyond the ocean, influencing both the environment and the communities residing relatively near the windmill parks. By acknowledging and actively managing airborne sound emissions during piling, we can minimize the potential negative impacts on ecosystems and maintain a healthy onshore environment.
Our product used in this use case
CAM iV64 Acoustic Camera
The Sorama CAM iV64 Acoustic camera is perfect for in-field measurements. The handheld device is equipped with 64 MEMS microphones and an integrated HD video camera to provide a clear heatmap-like visualization of the detected sound.
Do you want to learn more?
Our team is happy to discuss your situation and explain the benefits for your solution. Get in touch with us or schedule an (online) live demo.