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Ban on solar panels near Jodrel Bank?

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Ban on solar panels near Jodrel Bank?

Old 6th Mar 2022, 18:14
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Ban on solar panels near Jodrel Bank?

During a recent conversation with my sister, who lives in Swettenham Cheshire, some 2.5 miles southish of Jodrel: I asked whether she had ever considered solar panels, as she has a very good south facing garage roof. She told me that they were forbidden because of the proximity to Jodrel. My immediate reaction was to think this was absolute bolleiux, but she was adamant. I could not find anything to corroborate this notion on Qoogle. Can any of the more erudite or even Manc based folk throw any further light (pun intended) on this question?
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Old 6th Mar 2022, 18:19
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My guess is that they're worried about RF noise generated by noisy inverters (which are required to convert the DC output from the PV panels to AC).
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Old 6th Mar 2022, 22:27
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I don't know about solar panels but I do know that Jodrell has managed to stop an awful lot of housing developments around the area.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 07:54
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This may help to explain

https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discove...dio-astronomy/

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._passthrough=1
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 08:29
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I would say pasta (response #2) is probably correct. Although these horrors are supposedly suppressed to meet the requirements of the ElectroMagnetic Compatibility Directive, an awful CE marked stuff is totally non- compliant, and there's only been one prosecution since the regulations were introduced. Part of the problem is that at that time, the regulations were the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry (aka Department of Total Incompetence) who made local Trading Standards responsible for enforcement. As the TS people had no technical knowledge of the subject, no budget and no equipment, it developed into the total farce we have today. Ofcom have insufficient budget and powers, as have most enforcement agencies in Europe. Germany's BNetzA does the most and even they are limited. Enforcement is practically non existent in real terms in the UK, and teh legislation doesn't really cover these vast radio noise producing solar farms. So the result is much thr same as the situation in London in early 1800s when all the sewage went into the Thames - except now the 'sewage' is radio noise.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 08:44
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Originally Posted by radeng View Post
, an awful CE marked stuff is totally non- compliant,
I recall looking at some some "Far Eastern" manufactured electrical samples with our engineers about 15 years ago - they told me that the kit was just copied from European designed components and the CE added to packaging/instructions as that's we do. They reckoned there was probably nothing wrong with the stuff per se but no way were they specifying it... (I was going to be producing some manuals for whatever the project was - nothing came of it...)

Oh yeah - and CE stickers on the components I think!
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 08:46
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I know that my solar powered borehole pump swamps (at least) the 20m and 40m amateur radio bands with noise. I also know that cheap imported LED lights are everywhere and they also pour out RF interference. It must be getting tough for Jodrell Bank.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 09:39
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As radeng says there is no real control over emissions from small switch-mode power supplies. It's perfectly possible to design out the RF noise, but that requires some extra components - why should the manufacturer put up the cost by those extra few pence when the customer won't know the difference?

The worse offenders are the strings of Christmas LED lights - they not only have RF noise generators in the PSU, but long outside wire antennas to maximise the radiation. Jodrell, Cambridge etc should certainly be protected, but the market will probably win in the end.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 09:56
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I recently stuck a six metre length of LED lights in my loft to replace the existing R80 spots - ah well, I'm 160 miles from Jodrell Bank, and I spend little time in the loft! . (No Christmas lights here, I limit my decorations to cards...)
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 10:48
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Thanks all, for the interesting responses, and to Glevum for the links. I do get it about the RF noise, but apart from every other electronic emitting device; the world his wife and the dog have 4g phones. And surely an inverter should be shielded to some degree anyway?
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 11:38
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Should be but often isn't. Folk want the cheapest of everything, and electronic RF screening costs money.

A badly designed or cheaply built inverter can radiate interference from the wires leading in and out of its box as well as the switching circuitry inside the box.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 11:58
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Should be but often isn't. Folk want the cheapest of everything, and electronic RF screening costs money.

A badly designed or cheaply built inverter can radiate interference from the wires leading in and out of its box as well as the switching circuitry inside the box.
And pretty much every piece of Chinese made electronic junk on Amazon or ebay is badly designed and horribly noisy at RF as well as often being a fire risk, but hey, it's cheap.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 14:13
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Not solar panels but this was reported about a few weeks ago
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/s...s-b983058.html
and it does seem surprising that such a high tech setup such as the UK's early warning system can be interfered with by common household smart meters.

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Old 7th Mar 2022, 16:29
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Originally Posted by 747 jock View Post
Not solar panels but this was reported about a few weeks ago
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/s...s-b983058.html
and it does seem surprising that such a high tech setup such as the UK's early warning system can be interfered with by common household smart meters.
Data over mains power cables is notorious for RF noise, and I assume thatís how smart meters work. The amateur radio community tried (and failed) to have the technology banned some 10 years ago.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 17:10
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Jodrell Bank was built in the 1950s. Shortly after completion the main line railway that runs right past the perimeter fence was converted to overhead wire electric trains. As they pass, with their collector sparking away at 25,000 volts, it appears they have no impact. I can't see how domestic solar panels can be worse.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 17:16
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If Jodrel Bank didn't work would it actually matter?
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 18:50
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Radio amateurs -- who habitually work with much weaker signals than professional radio users -- suffer far more from noise nowadays on the HF bands than they did even ten years ago, from a very wide variety of poorly designed and manufactured electronic items. Solar farms can be prolific sources of wideband RF noise. One a few miles from Sleap is colossally noisy. When I was instructing there it quite often broke the squelch on the aircraft radio when passing at about 8-900ft on departure and it wiped out Radio 5 Live for about half a mile when driving past it. Naturally OFCOM took not the slightest interest when this was reported.





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Old 7th Mar 2022, 19:09
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Originally Posted by ACW599 View Post
suffer far more from noise nowadays on the HF bands than they did even ten years ago ,,,, wiped out Radio 5 Live for about half a mile when driving past it.
Ever the way. Read of someone whose house was on an old trolleybus road, infrequent on cold winter Sunday evenings. When visitors were ready to leave they would put coats on, then sit in the front room with medium wave AM BBC Radio on. When the programme started to pop and crackle, they would go out of the front door, and there was the trolleybus just coming along the road.
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Old 7th Mar 2022, 21:07
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Jodrell Bank was built in the 1950s. Shortly after completion the main line railway that runs right past the perimeter fence was converted to overhead wire electric trains. As they pass, with their collector sparking away at 25,000 volts, it appears they have no impact. I can't see how domestic solar panels can be worse.
The timings and frequency of the trains is a known quantity. They can work around that.
The fact is that Jodrell Bank made discoveries in the 60s that are just not possible now due to the randomness of RF pollution from local houses. Lawnmowers, TVs, mobile phones and cars etc.
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Old 8th Mar 2022, 05:58
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When we got a domestic 3kw installation about 12 years ago, I deliberately went around the existing installations in the neighbourhood with a sniffer antenna and my portable HF transceiver to try and ascertain which ones were radiating dirty RF into the AR bands. I settled on a preferred brand and model which passed most tests OK, and our installation has been pretty free of problems in this area. Numerous other installations have appeared since, and I seem not have been too badly affected, but there are random interference signals somewhere in the lower HF bands most of the time - especially during the daylight hours - so there are grounds for suspicion. Aside from that, our washing machine is one of the most predictable and troublesome sources on several of the bands.

However my WSPR stations seem to perform as well as any others in the area so I shouldn't complain. The biggest problem has come from the high voltage power transmission lines (166kv) that run down the street at the back of the property and less than 50 metres from my station antennas. I occasionally 'go bush' to a location near where where I once lived, and the quietness of the bands out there is almost unsettling. I can hear and work stations I wouldn't know existed when I am operating back in the village.
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