NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Wind Turbine Sensor Array for Monitoring Avian and Bat Collisions

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
JournalWind Energy
Pagination255 - 263
Date Published04/2018

Assessment of avian and bat collisions with wind turbines is necessary to ensure that the benefits of renewable wind power generation are not outweighed by mortality of protected species. An onboard, integrated multisensor system capable of providing detection of turbine collision events, including taxonomic information, was developed. The conceptual design of a multisensor system including a vibration sensing node, an optics node, and an bioacoustic node with an event‐driven trigger architecture was field‐tested on utility‐scale wind turbines. A pixel density computational model was built to estimate the spatial coverage and target resolution to the optimized configuration for camera placement. Field test results of the vibration node showed that nearly half of the recorded impact events were successfully identified by visual inspection and running short‐time Fourier transform on recorded vibration signals. The remaining undetected impact events were masked under background noise due to low impact energy and high background noise of the operating turbine, which result in subsequent low signal‐to‐noise ratio. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of triggering the system through single impact event sensed by vibration sensors.

Full TextFull text available from publisher
TagsNorth America; Land-Based Wind; Birds (general); Bats (general); 2018; Journal Article