Renewable energy
Monitoring and surveys

Curtailing wind turbines with 3D bird radar

Waardenburg Ecology is developing and monitoring two different shutdown protocols in an Eneco wind farm at the Maasvlakte that are controlled with 3D bird radar. The wind turbines in this wind farm are stopped when the radar detects many local gulls or migratory birds flying at rotor height.

Large numbers of lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls breed at Maasvlakte near Rotterdam. In autumn, many migrant birds also pass over the area at night. Eneco is looking for ways to limit the number of collisions at this wind farm and we are investigating whether this can be achieved using a 3D bird radar.
the 3D bird radar

3D bird radar

In collaboration with Eneco, Rijkswaterstaat and Robin Radar Systems, we are developing a curtailment system that is controlled by a 3D bird radar. The radar counts the number of flying birds at rotor height. When this number exceeds a predetermined threshold, the radar sends a stop signal to the wind turbines, which then remain still until numbers fall below the threshold.


For local gulls, this radar-controlled system shuts down individual wind turbines when many flights are recorded at a risk height. For migratory birds, all 22 wind turbines are shut down simultaneously, as migrant species often fly in much greater numbers and spread over the entire wind farm, especially at night. In the coming years we will refine this shutdown system and measure how effective it is by simultaneously counting the number of collision victims in the wind farm.