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Wind turbines or bird cuisinarts?  

New technologies are making an effort to mitigate environmental concerns over bird fatalities caused by wind turbines in Europe.

A new monitoring program called WT-Bird has passed preliminary tests and will enter the next phase of testing. The WT-Bird, created by the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, uses several techniques to monitor bird collisions.

“It’s important because this hampers the planning process and harms the reputation of the wind industry,” said Edwin Wiggelinkhuizen of ERC.

Acoustic sensors in the blades go off when the bird or bat or other object hits the rotor, causing vibrations. The sensor triggers a message to the operator and there’s a corresponding video feed from cameras, near the base of the turbine, that point up at the rotor from four angles.

The WT-Bird is slightly more advanced than the standard research methods, which rely heavily on physical human observation and radars that can be inaccurate. However, there are still problems calculating mortality, said Wiggelinkhuizen; especially with low-speed turbines, not every bird that collides with the blades will die.

The technology also detects when lightning strikes so any damage can be repaired quickly.

upi.com

10 May 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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