While the need for renewable energy increases and the energy market looks to leverage wind power, the locations available for building windfarms without impacting airports and military bases due to radar interference are limited – a situation which is being compounded by the demand to treble the offshore UK wind energy capacity by 2030.
Wind turbines can pose a real problem for radar operators, causing radar interference by showing up on screens as clutter; obscuring displays and resulting in lost aircraft tracking and even interfering with weather predictions making for unsafe landing conditions. In many instances, new windfarm applications are refused planning permission due to their proposed location. More than 90% of MW capacity of UK wind farm applications raised radar concerns in the last year* – with a total of 986 wind turbines required to find suitable radar interference mitigation.
Frame™ is an innovative radar absorbing material for the wind industry developed by Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in partnership with Loughborough University. It has been specially designed to offer a full radar mitigation solution for tower, nacelle and blades, as well as providing leading edge and anti-corrosion protection for the most challenging offshore and onshore applications.
The patent-pending nano-composite material effectively covers the wind turbine, absorbing the radar waves rather than reflecting them, to make the image on the radar screen appear smaller and reduce the interference and clutter by at least 99%
The lightweight nano-composite polymer solution is available from 1 to12 GHz, with an absorption bandwidth of 0.2 GHz. This provides solutions for all radar types from L to X-band, including dual band capabilities for locations crossing multiple radar sites, unlocking gigawatts of new potential windfarm sites.
The unique fillers within the innovative material are specifically designed to keep the turbine weight to a minimum, providing maximum efficiency. Frame™ is an easy to install ‘fit and forget’ material solution, rather than a hardware or software workaround, to ensure project costs are kept to a minimum.
Dr Adam Nevin, Innovation Lead