To ensure air safety, wind turbines with a tip height of 150 metre or more, need to be fitted with obstruction lighting. Wind farm Krammer is testing the use of a radar system to detect aircraft. The results of a pilot flight, as part of the test, are now available.
The flight test took place earlier this year, on May 23. A small single-engined airplane, type Diamond DA40, was used for this purpose. During a test flight of around two hours, where the plane made 8 different flight routes, mobile testing equipment was used to see whether the plain was detected by the radar.
The research was done by Pondera Consult, NLR and research centre TNO by order of the provinces of Groningen and Zeeland, RVO.nl and Wind farm Krammer. The outcome proved to be positive. The radar system assures air safety. Another positive outcome is the reduction in burning time for the lighting. Obstruction lights on wind turbines can be an nuisance for the local community. By using a radar detection system, the lighting only have to be switched on when an airplane is approaching.
At the moment, due to a lack of regulations, it is not allowed to use the radar detection system in the Netherlands. Over the next period of time investigation will take place to see whether the rules can be amended for this purpose. The next step is to investigate whether this is also suitable for Krammer and the best way to do so. Due to the cost related to using radar detection systems the solution is most suitable for larger wind farms. The outcome is expected to become available by end 2019.