In response to Iberdrola's StartUp Challenge on Bird Protection on Electricity Grids, Spanish start-up, Energiot has proposed an innovative solution for the protection of birdlife around power lines. They developed a device which uses residual energy from the transmission network to repel birds from power lines through a predator emulator and repellent light emitter, thus reducing risk of electrocution. The practice won the challenge in 2021.
Energiot develops self-powered IoT devices (Internet of Things) based on energy harvesting technology to monitor utility service networks without needing maintenance. Responding to Iberdrola's innovation challenge focussed on bird protection around the grid, they developed a device which can be added to the grid to repel birds from landing on the conductor or pylons and thus avoid electrocution.
The device has two parts. First, a bird presence detector uses different types of sensors that detect when a bird approaches the power line. When it detects a bird, this device triggers an alarm that emits a noise, alerting the bird, which then moves away from the conductors or power lines. As such, they minimise risk of collision and electrocution and thereby avoid incidents that could threaten energy security in cities and other areas.
Importantly, the device is entirely autonomous and is powered by residual energy from the transmission network, thus eliminating the need for batteries and maintenance. This is achieved through patended piezoelectric technologies, which allow them to work in any asset of the electrical networks: conductors, towers, insulators and substations.