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A new interesting question; Can we paint it black?

image credit: Ecology and Evolution, Volume: 10, Issue: 16, Pages: 8927-8935, First published: 26 July 2020, DOI: (10.1002/ece3.6592)
Ronald de Vries's picture
CEO Windplanner

CEO of Windplanner and The Imagineers.Visualization software for planning and communication for Windparks, Powerlines and Solarparkswww.windplanner.comwww.theimagineers.com

  • Member since 2021
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  • Mar 22, 2021
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Yes we can. But why?

We just got this special question from RWE to visualize current windturbines at the Eemshaven (The Netherlands) with black rotor blades. So they can get a realistic impression of the visual impact of this change.

It seems that black rotor blades can reduce the bird fatality rate. Research and tests at the Norwegian isle Smøla showed a 70% reduction. This becomes more important because bird fatalities through collision with moving turbine rotor blades are expected to increase, because windfarms are expanding.

We are happy to contribute with our visualization expertise to translate this idea in realistic visualizations and make it bird friendly.

So........Yes we can! Paint it black.

Question to you (leave comment below):
Is bird friendly - black rotor blade - an option you would like to see in Windplanner?

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Ronald de Vries's picture
Thank Ronald for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 22, 2021

Are there any negatives or reasons not to do this? Is it just the matter of it being an extra step, an extra cost that projects don't want to have to pay unless they have to? 

Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Mar 22, 2021

I like the idea - I wonder if the change in color changes how the turbines blend in a bit with the horizon and aesthetically could be an issue.   Many already do not like the look of turbines in their backyards.  Also, are there issues maintaining the paint as it fades? 

Juan Gomez's picture
Juan Gomez on Mar 23, 2021

I like the idea for the sake of the birds... I think the black paint will have an effect on the temperature of the blade.  I wonder if it is positive (i.e. easier defrosting), negative (i.e. material aging) or negligible. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 23, 2021

Great point and question, Juan. Perhaps black would be beneficial in areas where defrosting is more likely to be needed? 

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