Acoustic Glossary


 

Sound Power Terms ...


Sound Power

Sound Power is the total sound energy radiated by a sound source and measured in watts (W).

Sound Power Definition (ASA 2.71), for a specified sound source, is the sound energy radiated per unit of time.

Sound Power is the product of sound pressure and volume velocity.

Sound Power is the sound intensity multiplied by the surface area = p·v·A : where p is the sound pressure, v the particle velocity and A the surface area

Sound Power is also known as acoustic power : LPac : Pac : PWL : PWR : SWL.

See also • power quantityroot power (field) quantity

The Sound Power Unit is the watt. However the range of human hearing is 0.000000000001 watts to 100 watts or more, so sound power values in watts are not practical for everyday use. The sound power level in decibels, discussed below, neatly solves this problem.


Sound Power Level

Sound Power Level in decibels is ten times the logarithm of the ratio of the sound power (W) to the reference sound power (Wo) of 1 picowatt

Sound Power Level (Lw) = 10 lg (W/Wo) dB - i.e. more manageable numbers

Sound Power Level (IEC 801-22-05) logarithm of the ratio of a given sound power to the reference sound power. Such power level in decibels is ten times the logarithm to the base ten of the ratio.
Note : unless otherwise specified, the reference sound power is 1 pW.
Sound Power Level examples in both Watts and decibels
Source Sound Power W Lw re 1 pW
Jet Engine 10,000 W 160 dB
Loudspeaker rock music100 W 140 dB
2 Pneumatic hammers 2 W 123 dB
Pneumatic hammer   1 W 120 dB
Outboard motor 0.01 W 100 dB
Dishwasher 0.0001 W 80 dB
Office 0.000001 W 60 dB
Fridge 0.00000001 W 40 dB
Whisper 0.0000000001 W 20 dB
Threshold 10-12 W 0 dB

See other Standard Reference Levels

LW uses the 10 lg factor so, as a rule of thumb:
  3 dB = a factor of 2, twice or half the sound power
10 dB = a factor of 10 in sound power
20 dB = a factor of 100 in sound power
30 dB is a factor of 1000
40 dB is a factor of 10000

See also apparent sound power level and our sound power calculation section.


Sound Power related terms - listed alphabetically


Apparent Sound Power Level

Apparent Sound Power Level (IEC 415-06-03), A-weighted sound power level referred to 1 pW of a point source at the rotor center with the same emission in the downwind direction as the wind turbine being measured as determined at the acoustic reference wind speed.
Note : the apparent sound power level is generally expressed in decibels.

See also sound power level


Reference Sound Power Level

Reference Sound Power Level (Wo) = 1 pW = 10-12 W ≡ 0 dB = the threshold of hearing at 1Khz


Sound Power Absorption Coefficient

Sound Power Absorption Coefficient (IEC 801-31-02), at a given frequency and for specified conditions, of a surface, fraction of incident sound power not reflected from the surface.
Note : unless otherwise specified, a diffuse sound field is to be understood.

See also statistical sound power absorption coefficient.


Sound Power Density

Sound Power Density (I), is the average sound energy flowing through a specified point.

Sound Power Density (IEC 801-21-38), sound energy flux in a specified direction and sense through an area perpendicular to that direction, divided by the area. Also known as sound intensity and sound energy flux density.

Sound power density units are watts per metre-squared (W/m2).


Sound Power of a Source

Sound Power of a Source (IEC 801-21-36) is the total sound energy radiated by the source in a specified frequency band over a certain time interval, divided by the interval.


Sound Power Reflection Coefficient

Sound Power Reflection Coefficient (IEC 801-31-04) at a given frequency and for specified conditions of a surface, fraction of incident sound power reflected from the surface.
Note : unless otherwise specified, random incidence is presumed.


Sound Power Spectrum Level

Sound Power Spectrum Level, the power per unit frequency may be measured for broadband sound, SI units W/Hz (watt/hertz)


Sound Power Through a Surface Element

Sound Power Through a Surface Element (J), the rate of flow of sound energy through a specified area, the SI Unit is the watt (W).

Sound Power Through A Surface Element (IEC 801-21-37) time average product of the in-phase components of the instantaneous sound pressure and the volume velocity through the surface element considered, and is also known as the sound energy flux


Statistical Sound Power Absorption Coefficient

Statistical Sound Power Absorption Coefficient (IEC 801-31-03) sound power absorption coefficient measured or calculated with plane waves at randomly distributed angles of incidence.

Other Sound Power Related Terms : power spectral densitypower spectrumpower spectrum averagingpower spectrum levelsound energysound intensity

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