A standardized protocol for assessing the performance of automatic detection systems used in onshore wind power plants to reduce avian mortality - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Environmental Management Year : 2024

A standardized protocol for assessing the performance of automatic detection systems used in onshore wind power plants to reduce avian mortality

Abstract

While wind power plants are an important contribution to the production of renewable energy to limit climate change, collision mortality from turbines is a danger for birds, including many protected species. To try to mitigate collision risks, automatic detection systems (ADSs) can be deployed on wind power plants; these work by detecting incoming birds using a detection/classification process and triggering a specific reaction (scaring off the bird or shutting down the turbine). Nonetheless, bird fatalities still occur at ADS-equipped wind power plants, which raises the question of the performance of these tools. To date, the lack of a transparent, peer-reviewed experimental process to compare the performance of types of ADS has meant there is no robust protocol to assess these systems. With the aim of filling this gap, we developed two standardized protocols that provide objective and unbiased assessments of the performance of different types of ADS, based on their probability of detecting/classifying birds at risk of collision. Both protocols rely on precise 3D tracking of wild birds by human observers using a laser rangefinder, and the comparison of these tracks with those detected and recorded by an ADS. The first protocol evaluates a system’s general performance, generating comparable data for all types of ADS. In this protocol, detection/classification probability is estimated conditional on several abiotic and biotic environmental factors such as bird size, distance from the target, the flight angle and azimuth of the bird, as well as weather conditions. The second protocol aims to verify that the performance of an ADS installed on a given wind power plant complies with its regulatory requirements. In this protocol, detection/classification probability is specifically estimated for a given target species at a given regulatory detection distance. This protocol also estimates the proportion of time an ADS is functional on site over a year, and the proportion of reaction orders successfully operated by wind turbines. These protocols have been field-tested and made publicly available for use by government agencies and wind power plant operators.
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Dates and versions

hal-04480664 , version 1 (02-03-2024)

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Cyrielle Ballester, Sophie M. Dupont, Alexandre Corbeau, Thierry Chambert, Olivier Duriez, et al.. A standardized protocol for assessing the performance of automatic detection systems used in onshore wind power plants to reduce avian mortality. Journal of Environmental Management, 2024, Journal of Environmental Management, 354, pp.120437. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.120437⟩. ⟨hal-04480664⟩
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