Bournemouth Airport removed their objection to a proposed solar farm after glint and glare analysis showed that the solar panels would not produce glare that would significantly affect pilots of approaching aircraft. The solar farm, called Woodtown Farm, will be located approximately 1.3km from the threshold of runway 08 at the airport and will cover 7.46 hectares. Pager Power acted as an independent consultant to help overcome the objection from the airport by completing and verifying solar glint and glare analysis for various proposed layouts.
Bournemouth Airports Concerns
Glint and glare is a key issue for aviation stakeholders in the UK. Bournemouth Airport’s concerns related to the possibility of solar reflection from the panels ‘blinding’ the pilots of approaching aircraft. The initial layout was predicted to cause “unacceptable levels of solar glare to aircraft” because the solar reflections would be of intensity that would be ‘likely’ to produce a temporary after-image. This intensity of glare is deemed unacceptable based on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) solar glint and glare guidance. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is yet to produce detailed glint and glare guidance and therefore many aviation stakeholders in the UK adopt FAA guidance.
Figure 1: Bournemouth Airport
Pager Power’s Role
Pager Power was engaged initially to investigate the effects of glint and glare by undertaking geometric solar reflection calculations. Following a meeting with the airport, the layout of the proposed solar farm was reviewed and revised in a way that reduced the intensity of glare that could be experienced by a pilot. After a final layout was designed, Pager Power again reviewed the analysis to verify the results, which were then finally submitted to Bournemouth Airport.
The final layout was designed to minimise glare and to ensure the intensity of any solar reflection would not be of intensity that would be ‘likely’ to produce a temporary after-image, as deemed unacceptable within the associated guidance.onclusions
The solar farm is now consented and due to finish construction in late March 2016.
As this project showed, receiving an aviation-based glint and glare objection to a solar farm does not necessarily mean that the site can’t be developed. The first thing to do is to assess glint and glare with respect to key aviation receptors, this can include approaching aircraft, viewers in the Air Traffic Control Tower and overflying aircraft. If the results prove to be significant, then the next step is to review mitigation techniques, which can include revising the layout. Pager Power has vast experience of glint, glare and aviation issues and to date, has undertaken over 200 assessments, which have then been submitted to planning authorities and stakeholders.
If you have a similar solar farm objection issue, or would like to work together with Pager Power on a different aspect regarding glint and glare, please call +44 (0) 1787 319001 or email email@example.com.