Exploring the Potential Impacts on Birds and Bats from Taller Turbines
- Jun 19, 2019 1:32 am GMT
This item is part of the Special Issue - 2019-06 - US Wind Power, click here for more
As the sizes of wind turbines increase, we can expect some differences in the potential impacts on birds and bats. A few representative models showing the evolution toward taller turbines are shown in the figure below. Not only are they taller, but there is a larger rotor sweep. The hub height determines where the maximum and minimum reaches are for the rotor, and thus where there could be impacts to birds and bats. Older turbines, such as the GE 1.5 MW, with a hub height of 80 meters and a 77-meter rotor diameter, and current turbines with a hub height of 110 meters and 137- meter rotor diameter (such as the GE 3.6 MW) can have the same height for the lowest reach of the rotor, but substantially different maximum height and rotor sweep sizes. Future turbines will continue to increase, with the Siemens Gamesa 5.8 MW, for example, reaching 135 meters of hub height and a 170-meter rotor diameter.
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