A Biomimetic Ultrasonic Whistle for Use as a Bat Deterrent on Wind Turbines
As wind energy continues to gain worldwide prominence, more and more turbines are detrimentally influencing bat colonies. In 2012 alone, an estimated 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines in the United States. Bats show a tendency to fly towards turbines, thus the objective of the current work is to seek a solution to deter bats from the area of the rotating blades. The existing studies have shown that bats avoid broadband ultrasonic sound within the same frequency spectrum as their echolocation chirps. In the current research, we focus on the design of a biomimetic ultrasonic pulse generator for use as a bat deterrent on wind turbines: a whistle-like device based on a bat larynx, mechanically powered via air flow over the wind turbine blade. Ultimately, a deterrent as described here could provide a reliable, cost-effective means of alerting bats to the presence of moving turbine blades, reducing bat mortality at wind facilities, and reducing regulatory uncertainty for wind facility developers.