Date: March 19, 2018
Source: Oregon State University
Researchers have taken a key step toward helping wildlife coexist more safely with wind power generation by demonstrating the success of an impact detection system that uses vibration sensors mounted to turbine blades.
The findings are important because while wind power is generally regarded as green energy, danger to birds -- particularly federally protected bald eagles and golden eagles -- is a concern.
Corresponding author Roberto Albertani and collaborators at the OSU College of Engineering and the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science's Hatfield Marine Science Center have created an integrated sensor system that can tell if a bird or bat hits a turbine.
The system can also determine what species was involved in the collision.
"If a turbine strikes a generic bird, sad as that is, it's not as critical as striking a protected golden eagle, which could potentially trigger down time in turbine operations and losses in revenue, and most important the loss of a member of a protected species," said Albertani, Boeing Professor of Mechanical Engineering Design at Oregon State University.