Visual searching for carcass is Sisyphean task!


posted on July 16, 2019

Before B-finder the visual searching was the only method of bat and bird fatality monitoring on wind power. Everyone who has worked as a carcass visual searcher under a wind turbine knows how frustrated job it is.

The searching is performed as walking along regular apart paths. The controlled area can be round, square or individually shaped, but generally cover the ground in the distance of 50-100m from the wind tower.

You have to be very focused, because you don’t know what are you searching for, you don’t know where the target of your searching is located and you don’t know if it exists at all. One second of distraction and you miss the carcass. The majority of carcass you find on gravel or rubble pad and road, where the vegetation is vestigial.

During the visual searching the vegetation is your biggest enemy, even it’s short. The vegetation makes the visual searching inefficient and mostly impossible. The real visibility in the full-grown cereal is ca 1m left and ca 1m right, so even the paths are 5m apart, you make big gaps. The visibility in the full-grown rape is close zero. Because of low efficiency, some guidelines recommed mow the vegetation on the controlled area. But for bats and small birds, even short grass reduces the visibility significantly, so the permanent maintenance of short vegetation is necessary and it increases costs. Sometimes the controlled plot covers a scrubland or thorny bushes. More and more wind farms are located in the forest.

I encourage you to watch the movie to know what’s the matter with visual searching and how B-finder changes it.

Movie 1. Comparison of visual searching and B-finder carcass achieving.

B-finder reduces the time of visual searching radically because the system gives GPS coordinates of the carcass on the ground. The B-finder field crew knows where the target is located, so the field control is limited to pick up the carcass. What’s more, if you have B-finder system, you don’t need any blind searching – you go for carcass only if the collision is detected.  This way, one man can be delegated to control approximately 150-200 wind turbines. The number of assigned wind turbines can change depending on the distance between wind farms and the average annually fatality rate. Regardless of it, B-finder system reduces the manpower about 10x.

Movie 2. A sample of taking the carcass after B-finder system alert, filmed by body camera of B-finder staff member.

B-finder gives the information about collision in real time, so the field staff can immediately pick up the carcass. In visual searching, where the team visits the field in pre-established schedule once every several or dozen days, the carcass can be relocated or eaten by scavengers.

Automation is in the DNA of the wind power industry. The visual searching as a manual, faulty method, don’t corresponds to the energy industry.  Now you have the choice:  still use the primitive visual searching or assemble B-finder system and control monitoring like every another process in your wind facility: automatically, online, in real time, transparently.


B-finder GIS Specialist