Obstruction Light Control Solution at Windpark Fryslân in the Netherlands

Thanks to Terma’s aviation radar solution, the night sky over Windpark Fryslân will be preserved.

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Installation of Windpark Fryslân’s Obstruction Light Control (OLC) solution is almost finalized. This solution has been developed, manufactured, and implemented by Windpark Fryslân together with Terma. Final commissioning of the radar system is being conducted, ready for final approval to go operational as the first OLC solution in the Netherlands.

Today, wind turbines are taller than ever and increasingly likely being a risk to low flying aircraft. By law, wind turbines taller than 150 meters are required to have intense aviation lighting.

However, such mandatory safety aviation lighting may cause annoyance to the communities and wildlife in the vicinity of the wind farm, so to minimize light pollution Wind Park Fryslân has decided to install an OLC solution.

Due to the new OLC system, the lights will in the near future be turned off during night-time and only be activated, if an aircraft enters the vicinity of Windpark Fryslân. 

What is an Obstruction Light Control (OLC) Solution?

The OLC system consists of a radar system, an antenna, and a light control server. The intelligent lighting solution monitors the airspace above and around the windfarm.

When the airspace around the wind turbines is clear, the lights stay turned off. However, when an aircraft enters the windfarm area, the system automatically detects it and activates the required high-intensity lights. The lights are deactivated one minute after the aircraft has left the wind farm area warning zone.

Terma’s OLC solution has been proven to reduce the ‘light on’ time of the windfarm by up to 95%.

The OLC solution requires an un-obstructed view of the air volume around the wind farm for the system to work efficiently. Construction work is currently being finalized at Kornwerderzand on the Afsluitdijk by the IJsselmeer, where the radar system will be permanently operating once the test phase is completed. The final tests, including verification flights at Windpark Fryslân, will be carried out end of 2021.

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Windpark Fryslân Lighting 

Windpark Fryslân wants to limit the nuisance caused by the turbine aviation lighting. The result will be an intelligent lighting solution that combines the following intelligent functions:

  • The system emits white light during the day and red light at night. Furthermore, halfway up the tower there is illumination that continuously emits red light at night.
  • The visible lights on top of the wind turbines shine steadily instead of flashing throughout the night.
  • Visibility sensors on top of the wind turbines decrease the intensity of the light by up to 90% when visibility is good during the night.
  • A radar detection system has been built close to Kornwerderzand with which the aviation lighting on the wind turbines can be turned off during the night.

Terma is together with Windpark Fryslân looking forward to significantly reducing the light pollution caused by wind turbines in the area and are excited to finish the project in the coming months.

Learn more about the project on Windpark Fryslân's website

About Windpark Frylân

Windpark Fryslân consists of 89 4.3 megawatt (MW) turbines, each with a tip-height of 180 metres. Annually, the wind farm will produce some 1.5-terawatt hours* (1,500,000 megawatt hours). This is approximately 1.2% of the electricity use in the Netherlands, corresponding to the consumption of some 500,000 households.

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The Denmark based high-tech Terma Group develops products and systems for defense and non-defense security applications; including command and control systems, radar systems, self-protection systems for aircraft, space technology, and aerostructures for the aircraft industry.

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