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UMass working on whistle to shoo bats from wind turbines

July 25, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are trying to create an ultrasonic whistle to keep bats away from wind-turbine blades.

The scientists want to reduce the number of bats killed by wind turbines by designing a whistle that would attach to the blades and imitate a bat call. The ultrasonic sound would be produced by air passing over the turbine blades.

By imitating the sound of a bat’s larynx, the whistles aim to alert bats of the moving blades. The researchers want to make an inexpensive whistle with no external power source and little maintenance needed.

A $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is helping pay for the project in an effort to remove barriers to wind power and address environmental issues. A state grant is providing another $62,500.

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