Small wind turbine and solar installation to power ILS - Pager Power
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Small wind turbine and solar installation to power ILS

Small wind turbine and solar installation to power ILS
December 3, 2013 Amy Sudbury

11kW of renewable energy is being installed at an airport in Portugal as part of an off-grid system to power the instrument landing system (ILS).

Reported on, an Evance 5kW small wind turbine and a 6kW solar array will be installed at the Santa Maria Airport, alongside a battery for energy storage.

The website also state that the Evance turbine was selected by the country’s air navigation services provider, NAV Portugal. It will have markings that adhere to the ICAO rules.

Wind Turbines and Airports

There are two common issues that a wind developer can face from aviation stakeholders. One is that the turbine can be seen by their radar and the other is that the turbine can be a physical obstruction. Both are best assessed early on in the planning process, to try to avoid timely and costly project delays.


When thinking about the radar concerns, it is important to identify airports that are in the vicinity of any proposed development that could affect them. (Even small wind turbines should be assessed.) The online Aviation Risk Report has been designed to make this process simpler. It includes up to 3 radar line of sight charts.

Radar Line of Sight Medium Wind


Turbines can obstruct the set imaginary protected surfaces – or Obstacle Limitation Surfaces – that surround an airport/ airfield. They are in place to preserve flight safety. A surface breach can prompt an objection from the aviation stakeholders. The Obstruction Assessment is a good report, that can be ordered online, for an initial check.

Solar Panels and Airports

Glint and glare effects can be an issue associated with solar panels. Under certain conditions, they could cause flash blindness (glint) or a prolonged source of brightness (glare) which could affect aviation personnel.

To assess the visual impact on a solar development a specialist study needs to be carried out. We can undertake these, and have helped developers understand the visual impact. To enquire about a site feel free to get in touch with us.


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