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NREL Announces Project Selections to Address Wind-Wildlife Operations Challenges

Sept. 5, 2019

 

Researchers in a manlift release a bald eagle.
Researchers at NREL's National Wind Technology Center at the Flatirons Campus work with eagle trainers to evaluate systems that minimize wind-wildlife impacts. The TD&I program supports projects that advance technologies that will protect birds and bats in the presence of wind turbines. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

NREL has selected a new project to receive a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded Technology Development and Innovation (TD&I) subcontract. The recipient will collaborate with researchers and technology developers to advance early-stage wildlife monitoring and minimization technologies for use at wind energy facilities.

The TD&I program matches technology developers with NREL facilities and expertise to develop, validate, and engineer emerging technologies that detect and deter birds and bats at wind farms.

The following project was selected under the second category, which aims to add to or improve bat impact minimization technologies that are ready for validation.

Mide Technology Corporation: Self-Powered Ultrasound Generating Device for Wind Turbine Application

The Mide Technology Corporation research team has proposed the development of an ultrasound device that can be mounted on a wind blade. This device will produce ultrasound at the tips of wind blades to expand the range of influence of the ultrasound deterrent as compared to deterrents located just in the nacelle. This would ideally create a much more effective mechanism to deter approaching bats. The device will be a self-contained, self-powered system with an energy harvesting component and all-ultrasound amplifier and speaker. All the necessary electronic hardware will be embedded in an environmentally-resistant shell that can be attached to a wind turbine blade tip.

The selected project will run for 18 months and will conclude with a technical report and webinar or public presentation on the results.

Learn more about NREL's Technology Development and Innovation program.