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Shadow flicker protection system for wind turbines

Optimize the operation of your turbines and protect its surroundings from negative impacts.

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Tim Heesch Tim Heesch
Senior Engineer, Power Quality
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Shadow flicker protection system

Wind turbine rotors can periodically cast shadows onto surrounding buildings during sunny intervals. This can negatively impact residents and their opinion of wind turbines. As a result, authorities responsible for shadow impact emission control have to ensure that residents are not disturbed by shadow flicker.

A shadow flicker protection system provides a technical solution to this problem. Such systems have been employed by leading turbine manufacturers for many years. It ensures compliance with all regulations, including sound protection and protection of endangered species such as bats. Additionally, it safeguards against any charges, as the system records every single shutdown induced by the module. Operators and authorities can access and view these records using the free “Shadow Memory” software tool.

One solution, zero worries
A single shadow flicker protection system can monitor up to 50 turbines and up to 300 locations. In addition to the light detection sensor system, the system is provided with a GPS receiver, enabling automatic correction of the internal module clock. Satellite coverage enables the automatic correction feature to reduce calculation inaccuracies. In large wind farms, additional secondary light sensors are often used to assess the light conditions in various areas of the wind farm to achieve even better performance.

Flexible configuration
The settings for turbine shutdowns are defined by several customisable parameters, such as the position of the sun, the time of day and year, and other meteorological data such as wind speed and temperature. Metrical location coordinates of the turbines and places of emission are defined according to standard formats like Gauss-Krueger or British Grid, and are also taken into account by the program. Built-in protocols are in place for managing and recording all shutdowns.

Furthermore, each nearby building can be defined by several walls and horizontal surfaces, to account for all the relevant inside and outside surfaces. Separate daily and annual limit values are defined for each place of shadow emission. Configuration is carried out using a secure network connection to the protection module.