top of page

The Disappearance of the "Bird Killer" Enabled by Smart Industry

As global concerns for environmental sustainability continue to rise, renewable energy sources like wind power have emerged as crucial means to address energy and climate challenges. However, within the pursuit of this green energy, a complex issue arises: the intersection of birds and wind turbines, sparking a conflict between "green and green." Behind the realm of renewable energy lies the urgent query of safeguarding avian species from harm. Under the high-speed rotation of wind turbines, thousands of flying lives face unpredictable risks. This scenario has aroused not only environmentalists' vigilance but also the curiosity of technological innovators. At this crossroads of conflict, an innovative solution has garnered worldwide attention - the BasicAI Intelligent Avian Detection Solution.

Wind turbines is working in the field

Green vs. Green

Wind power is often hailed as a "green" energy source due to its lack of greenhouse gas emissions during operation, unlike fossil fuels. However, one of the concerns associated with wind power is its potential impact on bird populations. Birds might collide with the rotating blades of wind turbines, leading to injuries and fatalities. This concern has raised alarms among environmental advocates and conservationists.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, human activities contribute to the deaths of over 2.5 billion birds annually in the United States, with an average of 328,000 attributed to wind turbines. The deaths of endangered bird species, in particular, can disrupt ecological balance indirectly. Thus, the issue of "bird harm" has become a significant factor criticized by environmentalists globally, impeding the progress of wind power projects in ecologically sensitive areas.

 Human activities contribute to the deaths of over 2.5 billion birds annually in the United States, with an average of 328,000 attributed to wind turbines

The term "green vs. green" underscores the dilemma faced when two environmentally beneficial goals seem to clash. On the one hand, there's a desire to shift toward renewable energy sources like wind power to reduce fossil fuel dependence and address climate change. On the other hand, the need arises to protect bird populations and their habitats.

To tackle this problem, researchers, engineers, and environmentalists collaborate to find solutions that minimize wind turbines' impact on birds. This may involve careful selection of turbine locations to avoid important bird migration routes or nesting areas, developing technologies to reduce bird collisions (such as bird detection and turbine adjustment sensors), and ongoing research to assess actual effects on bird populations. Essentially, "green vs. green" highlights the challenge of balancing environmental protection with the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.


Exploration and Implementation of Solutions

Faced with ecological pressures and the need to preserve biodiversity, energy companies inevitably opt to enhance the eco-friendliness of wind power. The construction of wind power infrastructure must minimize potential negative impacts on biodiversity. Currently, many companies take the following measures:

Site Selection and Planning: Thoughtful site selection includes avoiding areas frequented by bird activity, known migration routes, and critical habitats. Pre-construction environmental impact assessments help identify potential risks to bird populations.

Turbine Layout and Design: Placing wind turbines away from known bird flight paths and nesting areas. Implementing bird-friendly designs to enhance turbine visibility, such as using contrasting colors on turbine blades.

Technology and Monitoring: Utilizing radar systems, thermal imaging, and other technologies to detect bird movement and adjust turbine operations accordingly. Developing and testing automated systems that temporarily shut down turbines when nearby birds are detected.

Seasonal Shutdowns: Temporarily halting or reducing turbine operations during critical periods like migration seasons to minimize bird collisions.

Reduced Night Operations: Reducing turbine rotation at night when poor visibility increases the likelihood of bird collisions.

Avian Research: Ongoing studies to better understand bird behavior and flight patterns around wind turbines. Investigating the impact of different turbine designs on bird interactions.

Continuous Improvement and Innovation: Sustained research and innovation to develop new technologies, strategies, and mitigation measures while learning from successes and failures.


BasicAI's Intelligent Solution for Smart Industry

A wind energy company in France, driven by local government and animal protection association regulations, required avian detection within a one-kilometer radius of its wind farm. The control system of the turbines needed to automatically adjust speed or direction based on detection results, reducing the risk of bird collisions. Simultaneously, the solution had to integrate with a mobile app for managers to monitor the status in real time.

Challenges

Although utilizing artificial intelligence to prevent bird fatalities from wind turbines carries numerous advantages, it also presents challenges. Here are some potential difficulties:

1. Data Collection and Annotation: Building an effective machine learning algorithm demands vast amounts of data for training and testing. Collecting and annotating monitoring videos for the algorithm to recognize bird-turbine relationships is a time-consuming endeavor.

2. Model Complexity: Constructing an accurate model necessitates considering factors like turbine size and shape, bird species and behavior, and environmental conditions. Hence, the model's complexity could be high, requiring significant computational resources and algorithmic optimization techniques.

3. Model Accuracy: The accuracy of AI models hinges on the quality and diversity of training data. Insufficient or non-diverse training data can impact the model's accuracy.

4. Deployment and Maintenance: Deploying the model into real-world settings involves integration with specialized hardware, installing and configuring sensors, cameras, and more on turbines, along with real-time computation and decision-making, posing remote control challenges.

5. Cost: Implementing AI technology demands substantial investment in manpower, resources, and finances. The cost might pose a major challenge, particularly for small-scale turbine operators.

BasicAI's Solution

To fulfill the client's requirements, BasicAI designed an integrated solution:

1. Data Collection and Training: Utilizing AI-assisted image annotation tools on the BasicAI Cloud platform, data is segmented and labeled for various avian species.

2. Model Training: The processed dataset is used for model training, iteratively training it to recognize over 300 bird species.

The bird image data annotated for smart industry

3. Model Deployment: The trained model is deployed in real-world settings. Due to device requirements, it's interfaced with specific detection hardware, necessitating separate development by the BasicAI team.

4. Real-time Testing: During practical usage, the model's classification efficacy is monitored, enhancing accuracy and incorporating new bird species to optimize the model continuously.

The demo of brid image data labeling

Achievements

The model can identify birds within a one-kilometer radius within 10 seconds, automatically adjusting turbine operations to minimize bird harm. Turbines might halt, slow down, or change direction to avoid collisions. What's more, the death rate has reduced. Equipped wind turbine areas experienced over a 90% reduction in avian mortality compared to periods without detection facilities.


Through the innovative power of artificial intelligence, the conflict between "green energy" and "green ecology" is addressed, paving a promising path for environmental protection and sustainable energy development. The success of BasicAI's Intelligent Avian Detection Solution exemplifies technology's positive role in significant environmental challenges. By closely combining data collection, model training, and technological application, this solution not only mitigates threats to avian species within wind power generation but also provides a replicable example for AI applications in other domains.

The evolution of green energy isn't without challenges, but these challenges drive innovation, fostering tighter integration between green development and ecological preservation. From the conflict between wind turbines and birds, the potential for AI to address this issue becomes apparent. Just as "green vs. green" emphasizes the complexity of balancing environmental protection and sustainable energy. It's a multifaceted task requiring collaborative efforts in technology, research, engineering, and cooperation. BasicAI's Intelligent Avian Detection Solution contributes beneficial exploration toward this equilibrium, reminding us that the path to a greener future relies on technology's guidance and the impetus of innovation.

BasicAI, with seven years of AI expertise, supports AI teams' growth and advances AI-driven transformations in various fields such as autonomous driving, ADAS, smart cities, and intelligent retail. Through multimodal training data platforms, data collection, labeling, model training, development, and private deployment services, BasicAI aims to minimize costs and enhance efficiency across diverse domains. Embark on this journey with BasicAI, leveraging its Cloud platform or expert annotation services to unravel the secrets of creating the perfect datasets for machine learning.

57 views0 comments

Get a Quote for Your Data Labeling Project

bottom of page