The wind energy research cluster south (WindForS) will be commissioned in 2023 in the Swabian Jura (Germany) as the first wind energy test site in complex terrain in an inland area. The WINSENT test site will also be available for use for nature conservation research, with a focus on studies of birds and bats. Even before being commissioned, the test site will be used for initial research which does not depend on the wind turbines, and use will be made of the wind met masts which have already been erected with their extensive measuring equipment.
The project "NatForWINSENT II - Phase 1: Preliminary Investigations" pursues the central goal of using the wind energy test site both for the development and testing of avoidance measures for birds and bats and to close knowledge gaps in the behaviour of animals towards wind turbines. Corresponding research concepts, which use the special conditions of the test site (two research wind turbines, four wind measuring masts of the same height in front of and behind the turbines, comprehensive measuring equipment), were developed within the framework of the predecessor project NatForWINSENT I and coordinated with relevant experts. Essential components of these concepts have now been implemented as part of the project. The implementation of nature conservation research focuses in particular on measures to protect wind energy-sensitive raptor species for which the use of wind energy poses a potential threat. This applies, for example, to the red kite, which also occurs in the study area. The nature conservation research at the onshore wind energy test site is divided into two phases, studies without and with wind turbines. This project covers the period before the construction of the research wind turbines and primarily serves to record basic data that will provide a basis for later comparisons.
Several red kites will be fitted with GPS transmitters. Their movements will then be continuously monitored and evaluated. Parallel to this a radar device will be installed that continuously monitors the airspace of the test site for bird movements. By using a combination of the movement data with the comprehensive meteorological data collected at the test site such as wind speed, temperature, visibility, etc. and also the optical recording of land use activities, correlations of bird activity with these parameters can be studied. One question that should be followed up, for example, is whether the project will yield indications for the development of switch-off algorithms in relation to meteorological data.
A test design that can be implemented at the test site will also be developed for the large number of technical prevention systems which are now being discussed or are already on the market, and are based on detecting the presence of birds. The aim of the test is to define the most general requirements of such systems. Parallel to this, in a sub-project (BirdRecorder), work will be carried out on developing and testing a system for the automated species-specific recording of bird species sensitive to wind power.
Bat activity will also be continuously acoustically recorded at all four measurement masts and later at the wind turbines at four different heights and combined with the meteorological data to study any possible further development of switch-off algorithms.
A stereo thermal imagining camera will be developed to record flight movements in three dimensions. The conceptual design of a specified detection system will be undertaken maximise automation in recording collision victims (bats and birds). An automated recording of insect abundance at various heights will also be designed using insect camera traps.
On the one hand, the project expands the knowledge on the occurrence and behaviour of birds and bats as well as the abundance of insects and, on the other hand, provides the basis for the development, testing and further development of, in particular, technical avoidance measures for birds and bats (Phase 2 of the project). This flows into current considerations on requirements for avoidance measures and their application and thus represents an important building block for an energy transition in Germany that is as nature-friendly as possible.
The numerous results of the investigations prior to the construction of the research wind turbines (Phase 1) for the various research modules (birds, bats, thermal imaging technology and insect abundance) and the development of the BirdRecorder camera system were published in two BfN publications.
Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)
Energy economy systems analysis
Meitnerstr. 1, 70563 Stuttgart
Dr. Frank Musiol
Tel.: +49 711 7870-217
Swiss Ornithological Institute
Dr. Janine Aschwanden
Freiburger Institut für Angewandte Tierökologie GmbH (FrInaT)
Dr. Robert Brinkmann
Private Universität für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Medizinische Informatik und Technik GmbH (UMIT)
Institut für Mess- und Sensortechnik
Eduard Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
A-6060 Hall in Tirol, Austria
Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Hochradel
Kartäuserstr. 39a, D-79102 Freiburg
Dr. Hendrik Reers
Fachbüro für ökologische Planungen
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Wolfgang Lissak
bio-scouting Thomas Klingseis
Dipl.-Biol. Thomas Klingseis
Dr. Herbert Stark
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies