Nail “contrast paint“This could speed up the authorization of new wind farms and allow the installation of turbines in places that were previously considered too problematic, according to scientists.

Norwegian scientists found that painting one of the three blades of wind turbines black reduced bird mortality by 72%.

If this “contrast paint” were applied to new onshore and offshore wind farms, it could reduce problems, speed up licensing processes and allow the construction of wind farms in places previously deemed too problematic, they write in a report. scientific article.

The study by researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research looked at data on killed birds collected between 2006 and the end of 2016 at the 152.4 MW Statkraft wind farm in Smøla, on the island of the same name, rich in birds, located off the west coast of Norway.

Four turbines from the Smøla project had a single blade painted black in August 2013, resulting in the death of birds for seven and a half years before painting and three and a half years after.

Trained sniffer dogs were used to find birds and feathers on the wind farm’s wind turbines, and dead birds found by wind farm staff and bystanders were also recorded.

The data showed that there was “an average reduction of 71.9% in the annual mortality rate after painting turbines compared to control turbines [es decir, sin pintar]“.

The authors of the study, which was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, noted that the number of deaths fluctuated “considerably” from year to year, “highlighting the need for a long-term study.” to support their conclusions.

Why does a black shovel reduce bird collisions?

In the article, scientists explain why a single black blade helps birds perceive the rotor as an obstacle.

Compared to humans, birds have a narrow twin [por ejemplo, usando ambos ojos para enfocar un objeto] frontal field of vision and probably use their monocular field of vision [usando cada ojo independientemente] and high resolution side [es decir, teniendo ojos en lados opuestos de sus cabezas] to detect predators and prey.

In so-called open airspace, birds may not always perceive the obstacles in front of them, thus increasing the risk of collision. To reduce collisions, the provision of “passive” visual cues can improve the visibility of the rotor blades, allowing birds to take evasive action in time.

It is believed that painting a sheet of black creates patterns that the bird perceives as a moving object. “because the birds’ frontal vision can be more adjusted to the direction of movement“.

Norwegian scientists concluded: “We recommend either replicating this study, preferably with more treated turbines, or applying the measurement in new locations and monitoring collision fatalities to see if similar results are obtained in other locations, to determine to what extent the effect is generalizable.. “

More information: wiley.com