Research Projects

The Tradewind Turbine

BlueSky Ecology is currently working closely with Tradewind Turbines researching the hypotheses that their innovative new wind turbine could be considered ‘bat friendly’. The Tradewind Turbine is constructed on a vertical axis and is powered by three large sails that turn very slowly (at wind speed). Unlike conventional wind turbines, there are no fast moving blades and so bat mortality as a result of collision or barotrauma is unlikely.

Small wind systems are making a growing contribution to installed wind system capacity in the UK. It is important to understand some of the wider implications of their installation, including their impact on wildlife. 2010 saw the UK wind market for small wind systems (SWS), increase by almost 71% from 2009 (RenewableUK).

Bats are protected under current European and UK legislation due to their serious decline in numbers. With the expected potential growth of SWS, claims that turbines are ‘wildlife friendly’ must be substantiated through rigorous scientific processes.

Research into bat mortality at wind turbine sites has focussed primarily on horizontal axis wind turbines and usually on large structures of over 50m. Little research has been conducted into small wind systems and no research is evident on vertical axis wind turbines (Tradewind Turbine style) in relation to bats or birds.

We feel that this turbine, with its slow moving, large sails should improve the outcome for bats should they encounter this type of turbine in their natural habitat. BlueSky Ecology is leading this research which is expected to be a long term commitment.

If you want more info about these turbines please visit