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Wind – Microwave Link Assessment

Why assess microwave links?

Microwave links, commonly used by mobile phone network operators and other stakeholders around the world, can be adversely affected by wind developments. Stakeholders operating such links can object to wind developments on these grounds and technical mitigation can be required to address these concerns. 

The potential impacts are well understood, and solutions are generally available. In addition, constraints associated with such links can in some cases be accommodated at the design stage if they are identified early in the process.

What are the benefits of a Pager Power Microwave Link Assessment?

A microwave link assessment allows the constraints associated with communication links in the area to be clearly defined.

This allows a developer to either avoid these constraints at the design stage or progress mitigation options for potentially affected links.

What does a Pager Power Microwave Link Assessment Cover?

Consultation

Pager Power will engage with link operators in order to ascertain the technical details required to map the constraints associated with microwave links. Link operators can include the JRC, EE, O2, Vodaphone and Emergency Services.

Surveys

In some cases, it can be beneficial to conduct a field survey of microwave link ends. This can facilitate acquisition of more accurate technical data than consultation alone. It can also identify further constraints that have not been captured within the consultation process. Surveys are not always required, this will be determined on a case-by-case basis in discussions with the developer.

Exclusion Zones

Microwave link paths can be effectively protected against impacts from wind turbines by construction exclusion zones associated with the link paths. The dimensions of these zones are frequency dependent and the stand-off distance required is dependent on the link length and the proximity to either antenna.

Overview of Mitigation

A brief description of the most applicable mitigation solutions is provided. This provides a basis for agreeing a mitigation strategy with the relevant link operators if required.

Recommendations

The next steps recommended to progress the development and address any potential impacts are defined.

“We first engaged Pager Power to assess telecommunications impacts of our Witberg wind farm project in Western Cape. This including assessing impacts on point to point links, television and railway radio systems. More recently Pager Power investigated potential impacts of our Roggeveld project on the SKA radio telescope.

Pager Power’s representatives have met with us on a number of occasions in Cape Town. Pager Power’s expertise with EMI is pretty good – so is the service.”

Kilian Hagemann
Managing Director, G7 Renewable Energies

 

 

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