NorthWind partner NINA’s research on painting wind turbine rotor blades black to reduce bird collisions has inspired American children to success in the First Lego League.
The young team won first place in the regional competition and went on to win the state competition in Utah. The children expanded on NINA’s concept by adding glitter to the black rotor blades, enhancing visibility for birds flying close to the turbines. They also integrated an ultrasonic sensor that automatically stops the turbine if an eagle approaches too closely.
To support their innovative designs, the young team developed computer simulations and games to demonstrate the effectiveness of black and glitter rotor blades in protecting avian wildlife.
“I have seen the results of the American team’s work, and it looks pretty cool,” says Senior researcher Roel May, who led the “paint it black” concept research at NINA, and who is deputy lead of NorthWind’s Sustainable wind development work package. “Using innovative solutions and forms of communication, the children show that the coming generation is already helping to take care of the natural environment.”
You can read more about the children’s project on NINA’s website: Environmental design of wind power ensured American children success in a Lego competition.