This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 23, 2016

Eagles are Making Wind Turbines Safer for Birds

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partnered with industry to gather data about bird flight patterns, which will help the companies develop technology to reduce bird collisions with turbines. The team conducted 25 flights and collected terabytes of data for the project, which borrowed the two eagles from Auburn University.

It took place at NREL's National Wind Technology Center outside of Boulder, Colorado. The work is a partnership between Laufer Wind and NREL, a notable example of a national lab partnering with the wind industry to help improve technology. Partnerships such as this help new technologies get to the market faster.

Two companies— Laufer Wind and RES Americas— have avian detection systems installed at the test center. Laufer invited RES to participate so both companies could benefit from shared information. To gather the data, the birds carried a GPS logger, and their flights were conducted at various angles to the two detection systems. By comparing the GPS data collected with the results from the two avian detection systems, developers will be able to better characterize the behavior of their detection algorithms and improve their analysis methods. For the complete story, see the EERE Blog.