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Radar Could Save Bats From Wind Turbines

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the holy-pressure-drop dept.

Power 116

mknewman sends in an MSNBC piece on a promising way to keep bats from straying into wind farms — by using radar. "Bats use sonar to navigate and hunt. Many have been killed by wind turbines, however, which their sonar doesn't seem to recognize as a danger. Surprisingly, radar signals could help keep bats away from wind turbines, scientists have now discovered. ...some researchers have raised concerns that wind turbines inadvertently kill bats and other flying creatures. ... The bats might not be killed by the wind turbine blades directly, but instead by the sudden drop in air pressure the swinging rotors induce... The researchers discovered that radar helped keep bats away, reducing bat activity by 30 to 40 percent. The radar did not keep insects away, which suggests that however the radar works as a deterrent, it does so by influencing the bats directly and not just their food. Radar signals can lead to small but rapid spikes of heat in the head that generate sound waves, which in turn stimulate the ear. A bat's hearing is much more sensitive than ours. It may be so sensitive that even a tiny amount of sound caused by electromagnetic radiation is enough to drive them out."

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116 comments

More geeky (2, Informative)

Lorens (597774) | about 5 years ago | (#28778719)

The guy who noticed this was using a device that detects the ultrasonics emitted by bats.

Instead of setting a radar to pump out radio waves, why not set a device like that to send an amplified return?

Re:More geeky (3, Interesting)

waferhead (557795) | about 5 years ago | (#28778745)

...Or for a tad more energy efficiency vs. using RADAR to heat up the bats skull to produce sound, put some SPEAKERS on the bloody blades.

Or air activated "deer warnings" on the blades, except ones that work for bats.
(Dangerously assuming those worked for Deer, but you get the idea)

Re:More geeky (2, Interesting)

c0p0n (770852) | about 5 years ago | (#28779441)

...Or for a tad more energy efficiency vs. using RADAR to heat up the bats skull to produce sound, put some SPEAKERS on the bloody blades.

Dude, last thing you wanna do is to introduce instability on a 4m long blade by adding uneven weight.

Re:More geeky (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781059)

Dude, last thing you wanna do is to introduce instability on a 4m long blade by adding uneven weight.

I probably shouldn't even justify this comment with a response, but I suspect you could put one on each blade to solve this problem. Or even better, just drill some hole in the end of the blade that would make some fucked up whining noise that would drive away bats. They can go eat bugs someplace else, it would be doing them a favor. The noise doesn't have to be pleasant.

Re:More geeky (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781091)

Who said you only put the speaker on one blade? And even if you did, who said you couldn't do something to even out the weight on the other blades?

Re:More geeky (3, Funny)

HamburglerJones (1539661) | about 5 years ago | (#28780377)

Can't we just put some baseball cards in between the blades? It works on my bike - there are never any bats caught in there.

Re:More geeky (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782371)

Have they tried the cheesy little devices they sell on TV that you plug in to keep rodents and stuff out of your house? Keep It Stupid Simple...or something like that ;)

Re:More geeky (0)

siloko (1133863) | about 5 years ago | (#28779073)

why not set a device like that to send an amplified return?

What, and make the bats DEAF!? Are you mad? I for one recommend turning off the wind as soon as bats are in range, that'll sort 'em!

Re:More geeky (2, Interesting)

kinnell (607819) | about 5 years ago | (#28779857)

Instead of setting a radar to pump out radio waves, why not set a device like that to send an amplified return?

Yes, let's make bats safer around wind turbines by jamming their sonar ;)

Re:More geeky (2, Insightful)

mrphoton (1349555) | about 5 years ago | (#28779955)

may be the radar is cooking the bats and that is why he is finding less of them!

Potentially silly question... (5, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | about 5 years ago | (#28778741)

Why not just use a direct sonic system, instead of using radar pulses to generate sound indirectly? Bats have very sensitive hearing, and there are probably ways of generating noises that keep them away, either by interfering with their sonar, or simply generating unpleasant aural input. I seem to recall ultrasonic systems devised for driving off human beings, or other animal species, so it's a demonstrated concept.

Of course, such a system could exist and use more energy, or cost more to implement. Nothing in the article about that however.

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28778751)

Not to mention the noise.

Re:Potentially silly question... (4, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | about 5 years ago | (#28778771)

Not the issue you might think it is. Bat's hearing includes a whole range of sounds outside of what we mere humans can hear. You could probably make an ultrasonic system that sounds like fingernails on a blackboard to bats, and nothing at all to us.

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780327)

... system that sounds like fingernails on a blackboard to bats, and nothing at all to us.

But then, invariably, there's some tough-guy bat who says, "What? that doesn't bother me at all." And he annoys everyone else, you know, and they wish he WOULD fly into a turbine...

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781365)

Which is exactly what he would do, after not being deterred by the noise

Problem solved, no more dead-good-bats, and no more bat-bullies

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

PitaBred (632671) | about 5 years ago | (#28780415)

Careful with some of that... my parents can't hear their old CRT whining, so they forget to turn it off all the time when they turn the satellite box off. As soon as I get there, it's just grating on my nerves being able to hear it. Something that's inaudible to most people doesn't mean it's inaudible to everyone.

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782559)

This has been exploited several ways. On the one hand, the high-pitched ringtone that teachers cannot hear when someone calls the kids in class. On the other hand, the annoying whine generated by a shopkeeper to keep the kids from hanging out outside his shop.

Re:Potentially silly question... (5, Informative)

shut_up_man (450725) | about 5 years ago | (#28778931)

You have to be very careful with sonic systems and creatures like bats and flying foxes. There are arguments afoot here in Australia that many sonic systems are waayyyyyy overpowered, causing bats to freak out and drop their young, or fall straight out of the sky and hurt themselves. Although technically this is a deterrent, it isn't really a good thing for the bats, which is the main point of the system. It might be like trying to keep humans away from an area by blasting our optic nerves with a near-blinding psychedelic lightshow and being a little miffed when the human falls over backwards in shock, tumbles down a hill and breaks their legs. Whoops.

Re:Potentially silly question... (3, Interesting)

RsG (809189) | about 5 years ago | (#28778977)

Well, to play devils advocate for a minute, if the options are 1) no system, 40% casualties or 2) potentially dangerous system, 5% casualties, then I'd call option 2 an improvement, at least from a conservation standpoint. From an animal rights POV... not so great.

Anyway, a bat repellent speaker doesn't absolutely have to be a brute force approach. What about broadcasting their own sonar waves back at them, such that they get the mistaken impression there's a solid object in their path, and avoid it accordingly?

Re:Potentially silly question... (3, Interesting)

mad_minstrel (943049) | about 5 years ago | (#28779457)

Echolocation only works when and where you sent out the signal in the first place. A signal sent out from a different location than your current, at an unknown time carries little to no data. Therefore, I don't think you can really impersonate a bat and make it think there's a wall ahead.

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

sorak (246725) | about 5 years ago | (#28780493)

Stupid question: Do bats have their own sonar "voice"? I.E., can a bat distinguish it's own sonar from someone else's?

Re:Potentially silly question... (2, Interesting)

mad_minstrel (943049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28780885)

Common sense suggests they can. If you go into a cave, or anywhere else there's an echo, you can easily distinguish your own voice, even in a crowd of echoes, because you know exactly what you shouted, including timbre, tone, content, rythm, little rasps, etc. You can also approximate when to expect an echo based on whan you shouted and the timing of your previous shouts. And a bat's hearing is a lot better than ours. Then again, whether bats can remember the particular way they had just screached is not certain. But if they could, it would probably raise their survivability quite a bit, so I would expect mother nature to have given them that ability, at least to a certain extent. Someone probably already studied this.

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28782205)

You can hypothesize the information form this information that the answer would be yes. http://blog.taragana.com/n/echolocation-helps-bats-recognize-each-other-72737/

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781695)

This idea has enough merit to be worth exploring.

It would require an active system that listened for each bat's vocalizations, then constructed a faux echo that would seem to come from the danger zone by using multiple speakers with carefully tuned amplitudes and delays. The audio pick-ups and speakers don't have to weigh very much or be very powerful: you are attempting to mimic the sounds reflected from a sheet of plywood. So several of these could be mounted within the blades without adding significantly to their mass. The software would be interesting, different from but similar in complexity to the brains of an electronic fuel injection system in a car (cue car analogy). Forth might be a good development language.

It would be fun to construct a testing facility for this. See if you could get bats to fly in patterns around imaginary stalactites.

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 5 years ago | (#28779145)

So, given the choice between a sonic system with the power turned down to 15 milliwatts, or a 75 gigawatt radar, we should go with the radar?

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 5 years ago | (#28779239)

One would have thought that it would be sufficient to simply make a distinctive noise that over time, the bats and others can learn to recognise as a danger signal. I wouldn't have thought it necessary for it to be damagingly or unpleasantly loud.

Bats are not linked. (5, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 5 years ago | (#28779409)

For a bat to learn that something is dangerous it must encounter the danger. The problem is the only way a bat would know a wind turbine is dangerous is by dying. I can see it now. The bat thinks "that weird noise is connected to that dangerous place. I guess I should avoid it in the future" as it plummets to the ground due to burst lungs. Even if one bat could learn the danger and survive, every other bat would have to go through the same process. When we use distinctive noises to ward off animals we use their already known distress calls. There is no learning on the part of the animal.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779807)

It doesn't have to encounter a cat to know to avoid cats. It will avoid a cat on its first encounter.

Re:Bats are not linked. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 5 years ago | (#28779813)

Having said that, evolution can teach these things -- bats that naturally avoid that sound will be fitter for the environment, and more likely to have offspring.

Re:Bats are not linked. (2, Insightful)

Yewbert (708667) | more than 4 years ago | (#28780859)

Right enough in principle, but my first thought in response is, "yeah, like deer have evolved the behavior of not running out in front of cars." Compared to the actual number of bats, the evolutionary pressure exerted on tiny localized populations of them by not-very-numerous wind turbines is probably negligible.

Re:Bats are not linked. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782583)

Except to evolve to not go to that area perhaps.

Re:Bats are not linked. (1)

fracai (796392) | about 5 years ago | (#28780421)

Clearly you've never read the book "The 100th Bat".

Re:Bats are not linked. (1)

gplus (985592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28780943)

That's exactly how brightly colored toxic jungle frogs have taught predators not to eat them. By killing off the stupid and the unlucky until they understand, that the bright colors mean "stay TF away from me".

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779699)

How could this happen? If you have the sound constantly on, the bats would need to approach it from far away, while it's getting louder and louder all the time.

If it starts getting painful, they would surely fly away...

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780109)

There is nothing cheap, easy to implement, or easy to maintain about radar systems.

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

chaim79 (898507) | about 5 years ago | (#28780509)

It's probably to do with even propagation and loss of volume at distance, they could likely setup a radar transmitter in the middle of the wind farm and have a fairly even spread of radar pulses which evenly drive away the bats no matter the conditions, however with sound it will be effected by air density, wind direction and speed, etc and would be unlikely to have enough of an impact for one unit to cover a large area, they would likely have to set it up on each tower, which would increase the maintenance costs dramatically over just one unit parked in the middle.

Re:Potentially silly question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28781153)

>Why not just use a direct sonic system...

It may be that the sound intensity decay very quickly.
Radar, instead, keep its power across distance.

Excuse my english

Re:Potentially silly question... (1)

Yewbert (708667) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781537)

Yah, like the businesses that blast classical music to keep teenagers from loitering around their parking lots at night,...

I'm thinking Celine Dion. Drive me batshit, at least. Couldn't be too pleasant for the bats, either.

Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28778787)

From TFA:
"It may be so sensitive that even a tiny amount of sound caused by electromagnetic radiation is enough to drive them out."

Surely if it's sound based, they're reacting to the sound produced by the equipment, not some sort of weird sonic biproduct of light.

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (2, Informative)

RsG (809189) | about 5 years ago | (#28778807)

Nah, nothing so direct.

Radar pulse hits bat. Pulse generates heat, which produces sound waves, inside the bats head (sounds scary, but we've been operating proximate to radar machines since WWII). I've heard of this effect elsewhere, and can readily believe it might be more pronounced in bats than humans. Sound confuses/diverts/drives off bat - they're not sure how exactly, but any number of theories might explain this behaviour.

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

adolf (21054) | about 5 years ago | (#28778811)

Ever heard [wikipedia.org] a meteor shower? I sure have.

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (4, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | about 5 years ago | (#28778827)

No, they are actually referring to the radiation causing sound inside the bat's heads...

They figured this out decades ago when they heard sound coming from radar systems that were appropriately modulated.

Then a bunch of nerds (they called them "Air Control Tower Operators" back then) figured they could modulate voice into a radar dish, point it at someone walking over the other side of the field and they would suddenly hear voices in their head... Which I'm sure was really funny for a while.

It's even patented. Microwave induced audio.

But it causes sound by heating, so basically, regardless of the level of radiation, heat generation is needed to induce sound. Consider that for a moment and also that it's microwave radiation.

No matter how small the radiation level is, it's like microwaving the bats.

Fortunately, Bat's can't sue people for exposing them to potentially dangerous levels of radiation, so it's probably just fine.

GrpA

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 years ago | (#28778911)

Fortunately, Bat's can't sue people for exposing them to potentially dangerous levels of radiation, so it's probably just fine.

Damn! I was about to go out and patent a new set of completely wireless headphones to sell to the Mac crowd.

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | about 5 years ago | (#28778949)

Fortunately, Bat's can't sue people for exposing them to potentially dangerous levels of radiation, so it's probably just fine.

Damn! I was about to go out and patent a new set of completely wireless headphones to sell to the Mac crowd.

You still can. Mac zealots have proven they'll take any amount of abuse and still defend Apple's decisions.

"Well yes, they've given me cancer and brain damage (fulfilling the "Think Different" slogan I might add!), but that's the trade off if you want cool stylish things. Anyway the PC version produces twice as much cancer, is buggy, and isn't nearly as cool. This is from Apple so it just works!".

You need to ask yourself... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 years ago | (#28778921)

Fortunately, Bat's can't sue people for exposing them to potentially dangerous levels of radiation, so it's probably just fine.

What would Batman do?

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 5 years ago | (#28779129)

At last! Now I know why my tinfoil hat works!

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#28779365)

No matter how small the radiation level is, it's like microwaving the bats.

You call it hyper-radiation, I call it good cheap eatin'.

Re:Since when does EMR produce sound? (1)

radtea (464814) | about 5 years ago | (#28780423)

No matter how small the radiation level is, it's like microwaving the bats.

That would be "like" as in "totally unlike", right?

There's microwave radiation coming at us all the time from all kinds of sources, natural and artificial. So, being wilfully innumerate, you would say, "No matter how small the radiation level is, it's like we're being microwaved all the time!"

The energy levels matter far more than the abstract category you assign. "Being microwaved" does not in itself cause harm. "Being microwaved at sufficiently high energy levels to cause harm," does. The first concept includes the second, but the second concept does not include the first.

Even though "A is a B" and "A causes C", it does not follow that "B causes C."

Military applications (4, Funny)

djconrad (1413667) | about 5 years ago | (#28778813)

How much damage can a radar-equipped bat do?

Re:Military applications (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28778851)

At least they would be easy to shoot down that way.

Re:Military applications (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | about 5 years ago | (#28778865)

Imagine that there are 30 .. 40% less bats since the very same 30 .. 40% are a smoking pile of flesh close to the RADAR antenna.

Re:Military applications (3, Funny)

RsG (809189) | about 5 years ago | (#28778875)

Not nearly as much as one equipped with napalm. I only wish I was joking...

Re:Military applications (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28781511)

Provide a link and you might get an Informative instead of a Funny.

From Wikipedia: [wikipedia.org]
"Bat bombs ... containing a Mexican Free-tailed Bat with a small timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn ... open to release the bats which would then roost in eaves and attics. The incendiaries would start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper construction of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target."

Re:Military applications (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782521)

How inhumane! Why not just nuke them instead? Oh, wait.

Re:Military applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779693)

Dude! Haven't you ever seen Batman? Radar equipped bats are so fcuking lethal.

Re:Military applications (1)

Madsy (1049678) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781197)

Not much. With timed napalm bombs strapped to their bodies however: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_bomb [wikipedia.org] One of the more obscure (but still awesome) weapons made during the second world war.

Slashdot wisdom. (-1, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 5 years ago | (#28778855)

Often it is possible to know immediately if some new idea makes sense. Just read the initial Slashdot comments. If everyone is making jokes that are not connected to the subject, it's a bad idea.

If everyone has alternate ideas, as they do in the few comments above, then Slashdot readers don't believe the explanation given in the article, and in my experience the explanation is likely to be wrong.

I'd prefer fewer attempts at humor, but the humor indicates a lack of interest.

I don't like the sound of this... (2, Informative)

Schrockwell (867776) | about 5 years ago | (#28778891)

The rise of wind farms has already led to complications with current NEXRAD weather radars, and these radars don't even scan that close to the surface â" 0.5 degrees is the lowest tilt. I can only begin to imagine the complications of wind farms interfering with military radars which scan much closer to the Earth's surface.

Now they want to point some sort of radar at a complicated source of ground clutter that's already difficult to detect and remove? I don't see how that's going to fly (no pun intended).

For more information: http://www.roc.noaa.gov/windfarm/how_turbines_impact_nexrad_user.asp [noaa.gov]

Re:I don't like the sound of this... (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 5 years ago | (#28778925)

I can only begin to imagine the complications of wind farms interfering with military radars which scan much closer to the Earth's surface

Turbines are a problem when they reflect signals back to the radar with sufficient Doppler shift to get past filters for static reflections. The emission from this device won't be near the frequency of the military radars (you would think) so there is unlikely to be a problem.

Doppler isnt a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780189)

There is always a point (nearest approach and furthest approach) where even under worst case (directly from the side) the turbine imparts 0 Hz shift because it's velocity component towards the radar is 0. From other angles the blades move even slower. I doubt that the blades get through doppler filtering. They just aren't moving that fast. Most helicopter blades (except canceled Comanche) show up amazingly well on radar assuming that they are high enough to avoid ground clutter. I suspect that these turbines are:
1) High enough to avoid ground clutter -- easily trackable
2) Lost in ground clutter -- easily ignoreable from a navigation standpoint.

Re:I don't like the sound of this... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#28779487)

So you can protect possible targets from radar-controlled missiles by putting wind parks nearby?

Re:I don't like the sound of this... (1)

azery (865903) | about 5 years ago | (#28779589)

Now, I do not know about missiles, but wind turbines are a NATO concern: see for instance times online [timesonline.co.uk]
Note that there are a number of mechanisms by which a wind turbine can interfere with primary radar. It is not only the fact that the energy reflected back on the wind turbine can trick the radar into thinking that he is seeing a genuine target. Wind turbines can by the way also impact secondary radar. See for instance Eurocontrol [eurocontrol.int] for more information.

60% to 70% still dead (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 5 years ago | (#28778955)

This does not solve the problem.By decreasing activity by 30% to 40% will only decreas the deaths by that percentage. That is still quite e few dead bats

Re:60% to 70% still dead (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779131)

Tell that to the 30 - 40% left alive! I'm sure they don't mind this solution.

It's going to be unnecessary (4, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about 5 years ago | (#28779031)

The trend is towards larger and slower wind turbines, because they are more efficient. At the same time, slower moving blades are safer (actually, with contemporary wind turbines, completely safe) for birds and bats. Also, bladeless designs are becoming more popular, again because they are more efficient. These bladeless designs are completely safe, regardless of size.

Re:It's going to be unnecessary (2, Informative)

Plunky (929104) | about 5 years ago | (#28779185)

Intrigued, I did some google searching about bladeless wind turbines and there are some links but perhaps not any actual real life comparisons. Do you know of any such?

It seems to me though, from what I've heard recently, that a bladed wind turbine extracts power from the area that the blades cover whereas a rotating cylinder [ecofriend.org] would only extract power from the area near the cylinder, even if the cylinders were arranged in a more traditional configuration [ecofriend.org] and the catavent [bloggingthegreen.com] system would seem to intercept even less wind

Re:It's going to be unnecessary (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#28780219)

Actually some bladeless turbines make power through some different principles than bladed ones. For example, the Savonius Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (the romans were using it to pump water using a screw) derives power from planetary swing-by, like a pelton wheel.

A bladed turbine DOES only generate power from what the blades cover. However, it's from what they cover at any given time. They don't magically catch wind they're not in front of. It's very much based on their area (among other factors) and the same is true of VAWTs.

Re:It's going to be unnecessary (1)

superposed (308216) | about 5 years ago | (#28779711)

Bladeless designs may be becoming more popular for small, building-scale turbines, but they are not even on the horizon for large, commercial-scale turbines -- the sort that we could use for a large share of our electricity. As far as I know, every single utility-scale wind turbine on the market today uses a horizontal-axis design with 3 (or occasionally 2) blades. Their speed is lower in RPMs, but the tips are still moving around 150 mph.

And birds and bats do indeed fly into these things or get injured by the pressure changes they create. It may not be any more than would fly into cell-phone towers, power lines or other infrastructure, but as a "green" technology, wind power is held to a higher standard. (My personal theory is that high-flying birds and bats are looking for prey in an environment where there never used to be any risk of flying into anything, so they have never developed the ability to avoid objects ahead of them, especially moving objects). At any rate, there is definitely a need for creative ways to keep birds and bats away from wind turbines.

Re:It's going to be unnecessary (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 years ago | (#28780579)

I'm wondering why the bats can't dodge these blades when they have no problem chasing fast-moving bugs around (if you've ever seen bats chasing bugs you know how fast they can turn). I can't imagine a bug creates a bigger sonar return signal than a wind turbine blade.

Re:It's going to be unnecessary (1)

prograde (1425683) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782037)

err, RTFS. They don't hit the blades:

The bats might not be killed by the wind turbine blades directly, but instead by the sudden drop in air pressure the swinging rotors induce

we cant stop here! (1)

LSDelirious (1569065) | about 5 years ago | (#28779093)

what no thisisbatcountry tag?

not just radar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779119)

nuclear powered radar

So that's how they do it! (1)

feepness (543479) | about 5 years ago | (#28779155)

Radar signals can lead to small but rapid spikes of heat in the head that generate sound waves, which in turn stimulate the ear.

No wonder the doctors always say they can never find the microchip putting voices in my head.

Why not use proper power sources that do not kill? (-1, Troll)

Clairvoyant (137586) | about 5 years ago | (#28779417)

Why not build a huge cage around the darned things (if the bats are able to see it though)

Or what about just using one of those proven power generators that do not kill animals, like nuclear reaction?

Dumb Science at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28779571)

"some researchers have raised concerns that wind turbines inadvertently kill bats and other flying creatures."

Do they think that some wind turbines kill bats and other flying creatures DELIBERATELY???

I remember going in to work and a bird flies from one side of the road to the other. The other side of the road has a wall on it and the bird misjudges its trajectory. And slams straight into the wall.

So we should knock down all walls?

Re:Dumb Science at its best (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#28780735)

I've seen a bird fly into a 3rd floor window at work (this building) [googlepages.com] in broad daylight. I don't know why it would try to fly into a nearly opaque window in the middle of a bright white building. We gave them a fair chance, I think the birds should at least meet us half way.

Re:Dumb Science at its best (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28780929)

According to these moonbats, yes, we should destroy all buildings and live in shallow holes in the ground. But be careful not to disturb any small animal burrows while digging your hole.

In the U.S. feral cats kill tens of millions of birds every year, but that's ok because that's just nature. Some estimates are that 100 million to one billion birds die from running into windows every year. But these dipshits are pulling at their hair and gnashing their teeth over a couple thousand too dumb to avoid wind turbines.

So... (1)

EddyPearson (901263) | about 5 years ago | (#28779779)

1. Locate wind farm.
2. Fill sack with dead bats from the foot of the turbines.
3. ??????
4. Profit.

The solution is simple (3, Funny)

feargal (99776) | about 5 years ago | (#28779797)

All they have to do is build giant concrete walls around the turbines, and stick a roof over the top. So long as they don't put any windows in, it should be safe for bats and birds.

It's crazy that they haven't thought of doing this.

Re:The solution is simple (1)

corsec67 (627446) | about 5 years ago | (#28779981)

Dude, you forgot the fans to push the turbine around. How else is it going to move?

Re:The solution is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780399)

That "Wooosh" sound over your head is not a turbine.

Re:The solution is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28780881)

*WOOSH*

Re:The solution is simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780647)

I think it might be easier to put blinking lights on the blades. Like those crappy toys you get from Walgreens.

http://www.candyrific.com/images/product_enlargements/liteUpFlower.jpg

In the new green economy! (1)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#28779849)

I will apply to be a Windmill Animal Safety Monitor, and am looking forward to completing my WASMD certification to do exactly that! This must be one of those jobs that can't be outsourced!

My broom, bat eating animal suit, and firecrackers are ready!

what really induces the low pressure? (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | about 5 years ago | (#28779951)

"The bats might not be killed by the wind turbine blades directly, but instead by the sudden drop in air pressure the swinging rotors induce"

I am confused. The wind flowing over the blade induces a low pressure and causes the blade to move. The blade does not induce a low pressure from it's own movement. It seems to many people are thinking of these like propellers on a airplane or a window fan.

Maybe that's why there is so much opposition. People hear "wind generator" and they think that's what they do, generate wind. It's the government plan to control weather but utilizing huge over-sized oscillating fans.

Anyway, I think TFA has it backwards. The shape of the blades results in a sudden drop of air pressure when wind flow over them thereby inducing movement. It's not the movement of the blades inducing the low pressure and causing wind.

Re:what really induces the low pressure? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781725)

I am confused. The wind flowing over the blade induces a low pressure and causes the blade to move. The blade does not induce a low pressure from it's own movement. It seems to many people are thinking of these like propellers on a airplane or a window fan.

What's the fucking difference? In either case you have a pressure drop that exists only because the wind mill is sitting there. Whatever nit you're picking vis-a-vis what causes what, the bats and their exploded lungs don't care.

Oh, but for the record, anytime something is swinging through the air, there will be a low pressure zone behind it. Regardless of what is providing the motive force to the thing being swung. This is just the nature of a large object moving and displacing air. Not in front or behind the plane of the blades, like a fan, but in the same circle as the windmill's rotation (so it would not and obviously does not cause wind). It's passing through the blade's wake that kills bats, not the pressure difference in the air passing over the blades themselves.

Bats?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28780133)

You all are missing a simple fact. They are bats! Just let them die. On the other hand... The bat "herd" is thinned by the turbines. The portion of the gene pool removed is the portion more apt to fly into moving objects. By doing so, we will make the bat population more advanced.

Re:Bats?!?! (1)

NonSequor (230139) | about 5 years ago | (#28780483)

Bats eat bugs. I don't like bugs.

Fuck bugs. Save the bats.

Re:Bats?!?! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782427)

The portion of the gene pool removed is the portion more apt to fly into moving objects. By doing so, we will make the bat population more advanced.

Careful what you wish for. [fif3.com]
   

best solution (1)

kc5deb (770159) | about 5 years ago | (#28780239)

hire back all the men/women that lost their job when the wind turbines were completed, have them take down every single waste of government subsidized pieces of junk, and voila! Solves multiple problems. No more ugly wind turbines killing bats and crapping up the horizon.

Ping? (2, Funny)

Misch (158807) | about 5 years ago | (#28780633)

Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.

grill whistles (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about 5 years ago | (#28780637)

Why not use something like those little fan/whistle things they sell to put on your car? The ones that emit a high pitched noise that deters deer and other animals from approaching the road when you drive by. There's obviously already wind available to generate the sound, so just tweak it to emit a pitch only the bats can hear. Zero extra energy requirement.

"Many" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28780823)

Many have been killed by wind turbines

Many my ass. The smart ones will learn, the dumb ones won't. How many bats die due to starvation and predation each year compared to the apparently "many" that die from wind turbines? Should we assign a bat guardian to each individual bat to make sure they're safe and spoon feed them if they get too hungry? Come on.

Newspeak (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781447)

Note they chose to say it uses "radar" rather than "microwaves." A little less scary sounding perhaps?
You should only call it RADAR if you're using it for RAdio Detection And Ranging - not for making bats scream "NO! Get out of my head Charles!"

Also, it sounds like it works a lot like this system - are they sure they're not making the whole bat feel hot?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System [wikipedia.org]

Why can't we put screens around the turbines? (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#28781855)

All this worrisome talk about green energy killing birds, one question remains: why can't we put screens around these turbines to keep birds from flying into them? This won't solve the air pressure injuries with bats, but with birds why can't a screen solve it?
Likewise, why can't a screen solve the problem with tidal turbine generators grinding up fish, too?

that other head (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782069)

"Radar signals can lead to small but rapid spikes of heat in the head that generate sound waves"

The head that makes sound waves as opposed to the other head... Well, you get the point...

Kentucky Fried Bats (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782373)

There goes the supply to my new franchise: KFB. Sigh, my Solar-Panel-Baked-Beetles didn't work out either.

I feel warm and fuzzy about this... (1)

motherpusbucket (1487695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28782545)

as a result of this, maybe one day we can hopefully remove the rabies virus from the endangered species list.
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