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This Batcorder wind turbine extension kit enables the user to undertake accurate bat surveys on wind turbines when using a Batcorder.
Click here to download a PDF fact sheet about the Wind Turbine Extension Kit
The extension kit comes with a special plastic disc in which a boundary microphone is embedded. This disc is specifically developed for the batcorder and replaces the long thin microphone that comes as standard with the Batcorder. The disc is inserted directly into the turbine nacelle (gondola) through a drill hole with a diameter of 10cm.
Power to the Batcorder and microphone is controlled by a separate control module. While the batcorder is turned off (daytime) the module is connected to the power line within the wind turbine nacelle (110 - 240 Volt), which charges the lead-acid gel battery for the batcorder. When the batcorder turns on, the module disconnects from the main nacelle power line. The batcorder and module now run on power from the lead-gel battery. The batcorder is galvanically isolated from the power line to eliminate noise induced from the power line. The battery set up means that batcorders can be left unattended for three months at a time. If the main power of the nacelle is switched off, the batcorder can still run for a couple of nights on the lead-gel battery.
To ensure that the batcorder continues to function over such long deployments, the control module can send progress reports via text message. Just before sampling is stopped, the control module sends a status message via SMS to any selected cell phone number. That way you always stay informed on recording count, memory status and other information. It can also report problems with the power supply and microphone. The microphone disc (that sits flush with the exterior of the nacelle) has an inbuilt loudspeaker. This emits a sound that is used to check the microphone is working correctly. In order to receive updates, you need to install a SIM card and ensure that you have network coverage at the turbine site.
Acoustic Monitoring on Wind Turbines
The nacelle (gondola) of a wind turbine is not an ideal location for acoustic sampling. Extreme weather conditions put a lot of strain on microphones and may lead to loss of sensitivity. Strong electromagnetic fields and acoustic noises may temporarily exist and lead to large numbers of erroneous recordings without bat activity. Prolonged monitoring of more than a year (as demanded by some authorities) can place a lot of strain on equipment. With placement of the batcorder on the bottom of the nacelle you can minimise exposure to harsh weather. The SMS update texts will keep you informed of the status of the equipment and the boundary microphone is specifically designed to maintain the high levels of recording quality necessary for automatic call analysis.
You can probably expect to get 1 or 2 non-bat recordings a night due to acoustic noises generated by the turbine. On nights with strong winds this may rise to 20 recordings (and very rarely, this may get as high as 100 recordings). However, the Batcorder software will filter out these calls when conducting its automatic analysis.
Installation and Usage
From existing customer feedback, the batcorder system seems to work equally well on all turbine designs. Originally the extension kit was designed for use on Enercon turbines, but has now been used on a variety of turbines including Vestas turbines from mid-1980s. If in doubt, we recommend conducting a test run before large scale deployments. Installation of the batcorder and wind turbine extension kit should be carried out by the certified technicians of the turbine producer or operator.
Find out about the key benefits of the Batcoder System here
For a brief introduction to the Batcorder system, check out the NHBS blog.
The Batcorder wind turbine extension kit includes;
* Control module (to alternate power sources and send SMS updates).
* support rails for attachment.
* microphone disc (including calibrated microphone and loudspeaker to perform checks).
In addition, you will need to provide;
* Batcorder (ensure it is the 2.0 version - all Batcorders sold by NHBS are version 2.0 or higher and so will be compatible with the wind turbine kit).
* lead-gel accumulator 6V / 4.5Ah battery (we recommend Panasonic LC-R064R5P).
* SIM card for sending SMS messages (with adequate network coverage at the turbine site).
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