For better acceptance: RWE paints wind turbines in black

For better acceptance: RWE paints wind turbines in black
alternative energy sources

Can black-painted wind turbine rotors help protect birds? How does matter, such as the people around windmills, react to color? RWE is testing this now.

The black color is said to help protect birds, among other things. (Source: RWE)

  • German power group RWE paints the individual rotating blades of wind turbines in black.
  • It is hoped that this will lead to a decrease in the number of birds flying to the facilities.
  • The experiment will start in Eemshaven in the Netherlands and also aims to check whether the black color increases the acceptability of wind turbines.

Wind turbines are just one form of alternative energy production. And it is always hotly debated, especially in relation to the newly emerging mega wind turbine farms. Critics often refer to the protection of birds. Because the rapidly rotating, rotating blades sometimes overlap one surface for birds and so cannot be perceived as a danger, many animals die, the argument goes.

As part of the Dutch Blackblade study, the energy company now wants to paint the rotors of seven wind turbines black. Only one rotating blade per wind turbine is colored, while the other two blades remain white. The theory behind it: By coloring a single rotating blade, the contrast increases. Rotating roundabouts are recognized as an obstacle by birds and hopefully will be flown around.

Painting is complicated and, according to RWE, takes up to 5 days.

Painting is complicated and, according to RWE, takes up to 5 days. (Source: RWE)

The study is conducted over a period of two years and then evaluated. The focus is on bird protection, but the effect of the coating on the material and whether there are positive or negative effects on air traffic, for example, must also be determined. It should also be investigated how black affects the landscape and thus the acceptance of the residents.

According to RWE, changing the color of the rotor blades is no easy task. Factories should be closed temporarily. A temporary bridge is required for painting work. The rotary blades are then polished and painted twice. According to the company, this takes three to five days per turbine.

Other recent developments in wind turbines

A prototype wind turbine from Siemens-Gamesa has set a record for electricity production. Within 24 hours, one turbine generated enough electricity to drive an electric car 1.8 million kilometers. On the other hand, Norway-based company World Wide Wind has introduced a new type of wind turbine with a height of up to 400 meters. It is a floating, reverse circulation facility that can fundamentally change the way electricity is produced. You can read more news about alternative energy production here on Netzwelt.

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