A new wind turbine employing a dish design instead of three large blades has been said to make almost no noise, produce about 30 percent more energy and could be more visible to birds and bats. Noise is one of the chief complaints registered by people living near wind turbines. Some have said it causes them stress, anxiety, insomnia and even depression.
A new much quieter turbine design might be very welcome for those people, although they might also just find something else to complain about. If it is proven to kill fewer birds and bats, it could pave the way for more wind farms, as loss of flying creatures has been one of the downsides played up by critics of wind power.
Additionally, because the new turbines 30 blades form a smaller dish, no very-long blades are required, so it doesn’t use as much air space vertically, meaning birds like raptors that cruise on air currents high in the air might be less susceptible to turbine accidents. Over sixty golden eagles are estimated to die each year at a large wind farm in California, not far from the Bay Area.
One estimate puts the total number of birds killed each year in the U.S. due to wind turbines at over 400,000.
Fish are also sensitive to the sounds and vibrations generated by wind turbines, and their ability to detect predators might be disrupted when wind farms are placed on or near their habitats. (Sound also travels further in water than in air.)
You can see one of the dish turbines in the video below. They are made by an Australian company named RESA.
Image Credit: RESA