General Question

rowenaz's avatar

How do you make wind turbines safe for flying creatures?

Asked by rowenaz (2431points) August 7th, 2008

I was reading an article about how rare bats and golden eagles were being killed because they were flying into the blades, but no suggestions about how to make a wind farm a safer place. Has anyone heard of anything to help solve that problem?

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8 Answers

jholler's avatar

big-ass scarecrows?

augustlan's avatar

How about building “cages” around the turbines, like regular electric cooling fans have?

LKidKyle1985's avatar

eh does it really matter that much. thats like saying, how can we make streets safer for squirrels. We could make expensive contraptions to stop it, or we could just let the dumb ones kill themselves off while the smart ones make more smart ones. until all of them are smart enough to not fly into a giant rotating blade.

simone54's avatar

They’d still die on impact from hitting the cage around the turbines.

Skyrail's avatar

I don’t think it can be helped. But I think I’d rather kill a few bats and eagles with wind turbines then kill hundreds of costal habitats because we didn’t stop using coal/oil/gas. It’s things like this that restrict the growth of renewable energy. These groups don’t want these new turbines/solar panels/hydro electric dams being built because they interfere with nature, but if we don’t do so soon we will interfere with nature on a global scale. I just wish that these envrionmentalist activists and such would see that there has to be consequences. We just have to just between more localised problems or international ones (which can’t be stopped now, there’s going to be change, tough, but we can reduce the overall effect).

I’m not having a dig at you, it’s a personal gripe I have because the people who want to reduce CO 2 are those who also complain about the animals that will be killed when you fill such and such a valley with water, or ruin such and such a beautiful coastline. It’s going to happen. It can’t be stopped (climate change and all that)! Yes there has to be some boundries but seeing as these companies/governments have to listen to everyone it’s slowing the whole thing down.

As for the poor eagles and bats….wonder if you could deter bats using a high frequencey noise generator that didn’t affect other animals. Mhm. Research to be done me thinks :)

tekn0lust's avatar

There have been tremendous advances in making turbines more eco friendly. For instance, modern turbines turn much more slowly than the early designs and instances of avian death due to turbines have fallen dramatically. Where the turbine fields are placed also has a lot to do with this. Some early fields were placed directly in migration paths which of course led to a much higher avian mortality rate.

Not to say turbine safety isn’t an issue, but autos and trucks kill hundreds of thousands of creatures annually. Far more than turbines do. Why is it that no one goes after the gas consuming vehicle instead of the power harnessing turbine?

rowenaz's avatar

See, to me this is interesting, because I don’t live near any wind farms, and I never hear about this in the news, so for me, it was an interesting article, except that it was incomplete. I never knew that it was even an issue, but I knew that someone in our collective would!

rowenaz's avatar

Look what popped up on Discovery Channel’s website….

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/25/wind-turbine-bats.html

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