Existing obstruction lighting system upgraded for BNK
Our client’s request
The Reuβenköge wind farm consists of 150 turbines and is located in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. Since 2014, the wind farm has an Orga aeronautical obstruction lighting (AOL) system in place.
In 2016 the Reuβenköge wind farm installed a ‘Parasol’ passive radar system by Dirkshof, with the aim to reduce energy consumption, as well as light pollution. Orga’s installed obstruction lights needed to interface with the Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) ‘Parasol’. ADLS systems are known in Germany as BNK (Bedarfsgesteuerte Nachtkennzeichnung) systems.
ADLS systems combine the obstruction lighting with a system that detects when an aircraft is within a certain range of the wind farm, and turning the light on at that time during night. According to leading ADLS system suppliers the use of these systems will result in the lights only operating for approximately 5% of the time, compared to the current requirements to have the lights on all of the time. The ‘Parasol’ ADLS system uses a ‘fail safe’ design incorporating a passive radar based plane detection system.
The main challenge was to efficiently interface Orga’s installed obstruction lighting system with the ‘Parasol’ passive radar system from Dirkshof with minimal turbine downtime.
When receiving the request for updating our obstruction lighting system in order to interface with the ‘Parasol’ passive radar system, our engineers worked out the technical details, updated the system firmware and provided clear instructions on what needed to be done. An Orga service engineer visited the wind farm to oversee the update, and to validate the operation of the new system. Because it was possible to use the existing equipment, costs were low and there was minimal turbine downtime. Besides that, the Reuβenköge wind farm is thereby already in compliance with the upcoming BNK legislation.
*The German government recently introduced new legislation (known as AV, Anhang 6 for Bedarfgesteuerte Nachtkennzeichnung, BNK) making ADLS systems mandatory for existing and new wind farms, with the intention of ensuring the adoption of technologies that further reduce light pollution.