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Title: ULTRASONIC BAT DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY

Abstract

The project objective was to advance the development and testing of a near commercial bat-deterrent system with a goal to increase the current GE deterrent system effectiveness to over 50% with broad species applicability. Additionally, the research supported by this program has provided insights into bat behavior and ultrasonic deterrent design that had not previously been explored. Prior research and development had demonstrated the effectiveness of a commercial-grade, air-powered, ultrasonic bat deterrent to be between 30-50% depending upon the species of bat. However, the previous research provided limited insight into the behavioral responses of bats in the presence of ultrasonic deterrent sound fields that could be utilized to improve effectiveness. A unique bat flight room was utilized to observe the behavioral characteristics of bats in the presence of ultrasonic sound fields. Behavioral testing in the bat flight facility demonstrated that ultrasonic sounds similar to those produced by the GE deterrent influenced the activities and behaviors, primarily those associated with foraging, of the species exposed. The study also indicated that continuous and pulsing ultrasonic signals had a similar effect on the bats, and confirmed that as ultrasonic sounds attenuate, their influence on the bats’ activities and behavior decreases. Ground testing atmore » Wolf Ridge Wind, LLC and Shawnee National Forest assessed both continuous and pulsing deterrent signals emitted from the GE deterrent system and further enhanced the behavioral understanding of bats in the presence of the deterrent. With these data and observations, the existing 4-nozzle continuous, or steady, emission ultrasonic system was redesigned to a 6-nozzle system that could emit a pulsing signal covering a larger air space around a turbine. Twelve GE 1.6-100 turbines were outfitted with the deterrent system and a formal three-month field study was performed using daily carcass searches beneath the 12 turbines. Additionally, a unique 3D bat flight path visualization system was utilized to monitor for and identify any changes in bat activity caused by the operation of the deterrent system. Both the carcass search and flight path visualization data indicated that the pulsed deterrent system was effective, but not more effective, than the steady system tested in prior years. However, an unanticipated byproduct of the pulsing system was the emission of intermittent water vapor from the deterrent devices due to the air compression process that powered the devices. This water vapor may have altered the ultrasonic signal and obscured the results in an unknown way. While a qualitative analysis of the effect of the water vapor on the deterrent signal had indicated there was not dramatic change in the expected ultrasonic signal, it was not possible to conclusively determine if the pulse signal would have been more effective in the absence of the water vapor. A mid-season installation of a desiccant system was performed and the dataset divided into two groups to account for the change. Prior to the system change, the deterrent was not effective (-23%, P = 0.8617, α = 0.05) at reducing eastern red bat fatalities and effective (38%, P = 0.0169, α = 0.05) for the non-eastern red bat species, combined. After the installation of the desiccant system, the pulsed deterrent system showed similar results, although not statistically significant, with a point estimates of 23% (P = 0.2924, α = 0.05) observed for eastern red bats and 54% (P = 0.0926, α = 0.05) for the other combined bat species.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
General Electric Company
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Energy Technologies Office (EE-4WE)
Contributing Org.:
California Ridge Wind Energy Texas Christian University
OSTI Identifier:
1484770
Report Number(s):
DOE-GE-07035
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007035
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; Bat Deterrent; wind turbine; ultrasonic; bat behavioral response; deterrent, pulsing ultrasonic; continuous ultrasonic; intermittent ultrasonic

Citation Formats

Kinzie, Kevin, Hale, Amanda, Bennett, Victoria, Romano, Brad, Skalski, John, Coppinger, Karyn, and Miller, Myron F. ULTRASONIC BAT DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1484770.
Kinzie, Kevin, Hale, Amanda, Bennett, Victoria, Romano, Brad, Skalski, John, Coppinger, Karyn, & Miller, Myron F. ULTRASONIC BAT DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY. United States. doi:10.2172/1484770.
Kinzie, Kevin, Hale, Amanda, Bennett, Victoria, Romano, Brad, Skalski, John, Coppinger, Karyn, and Miller, Myron F. Thu . "ULTRASONIC BAT DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY". United States. doi:10.2172/1484770. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1484770.
@article{osti_1484770,
title = {ULTRASONIC BAT DETERRENT TECHNOLOGY},
author = {Kinzie, Kevin and Hale, Amanda and Bennett, Victoria and Romano, Brad and Skalski, John and Coppinger, Karyn and Miller, Myron F},
abstractNote = {The project objective was to advance the development and testing of a near commercial bat-deterrent system with a goal to increase the current GE deterrent system effectiveness to over 50% with broad species applicability. Additionally, the research supported by this program has provided insights into bat behavior and ultrasonic deterrent design that had not previously been explored. Prior research and development had demonstrated the effectiveness of a commercial-grade, air-powered, ultrasonic bat deterrent to be between 30-50% depending upon the species of bat. However, the previous research provided limited insight into the behavioral responses of bats in the presence of ultrasonic deterrent sound fields that could be utilized to improve effectiveness. A unique bat flight room was utilized to observe the behavioral characteristics of bats in the presence of ultrasonic sound fields. Behavioral testing in the bat flight facility demonstrated that ultrasonic sounds similar to those produced by the GE deterrent influenced the activities and behaviors, primarily those associated with foraging, of the species exposed. The study also indicated that continuous and pulsing ultrasonic signals had a similar effect on the bats, and confirmed that as ultrasonic sounds attenuate, their influence on the bats’ activities and behavior decreases. Ground testing at Wolf Ridge Wind, LLC and Shawnee National Forest assessed both continuous and pulsing deterrent signals emitted from the GE deterrent system and further enhanced the behavioral understanding of bats in the presence of the deterrent. With these data and observations, the existing 4-nozzle continuous, or steady, emission ultrasonic system was redesigned to a 6-nozzle system that could emit a pulsing signal covering a larger air space around a turbine. Twelve GE 1.6-100 turbines were outfitted with the deterrent system and a formal three-month field study was performed using daily carcass searches beneath the 12 turbines. Additionally, a unique 3D bat flight path visualization system was utilized to monitor for and identify any changes in bat activity caused by the operation of the deterrent system. Both the carcass search and flight path visualization data indicated that the pulsed deterrent system was effective, but not more effective, than the steady system tested in prior years. However, an unanticipated byproduct of the pulsing system was the emission of intermittent water vapor from the deterrent devices due to the air compression process that powered the devices. This water vapor may have altered the ultrasonic signal and obscured the results in an unknown way. While a qualitative analysis of the effect of the water vapor on the deterrent signal had indicated there was not dramatic change in the expected ultrasonic signal, it was not possible to conclusively determine if the pulse signal would have been more effective in the absence of the water vapor. A mid-season installation of a desiccant system was performed and the dataset divided into two groups to account for the change. Prior to the system change, the deterrent was not effective (-23%, P = 0.8617, α = 0.05) at reducing eastern red bat fatalities and effective (38%, P = 0.0169, α = 0.05) for the non-eastern red bat species, combined. After the installation of the desiccant system, the pulsed deterrent system showed similar results, although not statistically significant, with a point estimates of 23% (P = 0.2924, α = 0.05) observed for eastern red bats and 54% (P = 0.0926, α = 0.05) for the other combined bat species.},
doi = {10.2172/1484770},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}