Noisy robot scarecrow at offshore wind substation
UK: A robot scarecrow has almost eliminated bird droppings from an offshore wind substation.
Seabirds use offshore structures as handy rest sites, and consequently cover them with huge amounts of droppings — which are a health hazard for humans due to their carcinogenic properties, and can even cause expensive delays to offshore construction. Removing the so-called “guano” is said to be extremely costly and unpleasant to remove.
Which is why England-based company Scaretech Global came up with the idea of installing solar-powered robotic “scarecrows” dressed as offshore workers — which also emit loud noises and high-intensity strobe lights — to frighten birds away.
In a 12-month test of the maintenance-free technology at the Galloper wind farm’s substation in the UK North Sea, which ended in July, the amount of guano on the structure went from around 55 % coverage to almost none.
“Once we installed the Scaretech device, we saw dramatic reductions in the amount of guano. In fact, the problem is now almost non-existent. It has been a fantastic asset and has saved us a considerable amount in clean-up costs and technician time,” said Kieron Drew, interim O&M manager at Galloper.
Scaretech’s Terry Christie, who came up with the idea for the technology, said, “We have taken the simple bird deterrent of a scarecrow — tested over hundreds of years — and updated it with the latest, state-of-the-art technology to enable it to withstand the extreme weather conditions offshore. ”
“Scaretech works beyond everyone’s expectations and we now plan to launch a low-cost monthly rental option to enable the offshore sector to benefit from this proven solution,” concluded Christie.