Funding Organisation: DLR- internal project
Duration: 10.2017 – finalized 10.2018
Contact: Franz Trieb
The current discussion about a decline of flying insects as well as reports about efficiency losses of wind turbines due to contamination of the rotor blades with insect remains suggest a review of both phenomena with regard to a possible correlation. Initial research showed that adult, airworthy insects in large swarms seek high, fast air currents shortly before oviposition in order to be carried by the wind to distant breeding sites. For about 30 years, the millions of years old paths they use for this purpose have been increasingly lined by the rotors of large wind turbines whose rotor blades cut through the air at blade tip speeds of several hundred kilometres per hour, injuring a hitherto unknown number of flying insects.
The scientific investigation included an extensive literature search to deepen the understanding of possible interactions between flying insects and wind farms. Interdisciplinary information from entomology, wind energy technology and atmospheric physics was evaluated in order to gain initial insights into these interactions. Furthermore, a model analysis was carried out to quantify the seasonal air throughput and the amount of flying insects carried by the rotors of the German wind farm as well as the resulting damage.
The results were published in the magazine „Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen“ issue November 2018 (German only). Find the literature as a download.
Enclosed also the detailed and final report.
Facts - DLR-Scientific Investigation on Interactions Between Flying Insects and Wind Farms (German only)
Interview with Dr. Franz Trieb, DLR
Lecture by Dr. Fanz Trieb, DLR (German only)