Cambridge Consultants is offering a new technical solution to the issues surrounding the deployment of wind farms in the vicinity of sensitive UK MoD radar installations.
The solution involves adding radar sensors to off-shore turbines to eliminate blind spots.
Off-shore wind farms (or turbine arrays) interfere with both military and civil radar systems and this interference is currently being investigated by the defence secretary, the secretary of state and the transport secretary.
Current solutions include major reviews of radar technology and relocation of radar installations. All of these are extremely costly, and several proposed UK wind farms have already been cancelled as a result of MoD objections.
‘The issue particularly affects large off-shore wind turbine arrays, whose echoes can create a radar blind spot. Echoes from the wind farm can yield false alarms, and it is harder to identify flying objects within the shadowed zone,’ explained Dr Gordon Oswald, technology director at Cambridge Consultants.
The proposed solution uses fill-in radar sensors sited at the wind farms themselves to cover the shadowed zone. They will be capable of eliminating the gaps and erroneous signals in air-traffic-control and other surveillance radar coverage caused by wind turbine blades.
‘Application of this technical solution will allow more of the UK’s renewable energy sites to be considered for wind farms. Our approach would be extremely cost-effective, especially in view of the cost of losing available wind energy, or even the public enquiries which stem from the process of developing new wind turbine sites,’ Dr Oswald concluded.
A public statement regarding the company’s position can be viewed here.