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Solar arrray - Electro magnetic radiation, effect on ILS

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Solar arrray - Electro magnetic radiation, effect on ILS

Old 13th Jul 2019, 17:44
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Solar arrray - Electro magnetic radiation, effect on ILS

Hope this is the right forum so apologies in advance if not

A major national transport company has applied for planning permission to build a distribution hub consisting of seven large buildings occupying 288,000 m2 on land occupying ~455,000 m2. On top of the buildings will be an an array of 50,000 sq ft of solar PV panels.

I understand that the inverters used to convert solar energy to AC current will radiate radio frequency electromagnetic radiation, and the buildings are likely to modulate any radiation. According to one US study I've come across it indicates such PV arrays may affect an airport ILS miles away. In the US I understand it's referred to as "Instrument Landing System (ILS) Hazardously Misleading Information (HMI)"

The threshold of Manchester's runway 05 right is only 8 miles from this proposed development, the extended centre line of the runway approach path is only 6 miles away and the cone of the 35 degrees ILS beam only about 3.5 miles away.

Does anyone know whether there are any UK publications or any requirement to involve either Manchester Airport or perhaps NATS in discussions about this sort of thing?

Usual TIA

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Old 13th Jul 2019, 23:10
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Search aerodrome safeguarding and you might get some useful info. Take a look also at EU reg 139/2014 and the associated material.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 00:25
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https://www.faa.gov/airports/environ...Guide-2018.pdf

I do know V.C. Bird Intl., Antigua, has installed a large solar array alongside the approach to RWY07. No ILS there, but there is a VOR (same radio band) on the other side of the runway.

Most references I see to RFI from solar array inverters are very localized (as in, within the same building) - and usually it can be suppressed with ferrite chokes on the inverter cabling, and proper grounding of the inverter (to the literal GROUND, NOT to the building - which can just turn the whole building into an antenna!)
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 00:26
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Originally Posted by richardgb View Post
Hope this is the right forum so apologies in advance if not

A major national transport company has applied for planning permission to build a distribution hub consisting of seven large buildings occupying 288,000 m2 on land occupying ~455,000 m2. On top of the buildings will be an an array of 50,000 sq ft of solar PV panels.

I understand that the inverters used to convert solar energy to AC current will radiate radio frequency electromagnetic radiation, and the buildings are likely to modulate any radiation. According to one US study I've come across it indicates such PV arrays may affect an airport ILS miles away. In the US I understand it's referred to as "Instrument Landing System (ILS) Hazardously Misleading Information (HMI)"

The threshold of Manchester's runway 05 right is only 8 miles from this proposed development, the extended centre line of the runway approach path is only 6 miles away and the cone of the 35 degrees ILS beam only about 3.5 miles away.

Does anyone know whether there are any UK publications or any requirement to involve either Manchester Airport or perhaps NATS in discussions about this sort of thing?

Usual TIA
Solar energy in Manchester? I think you would get a lot more return from harvesting the kinetic energy of rain drops.
hans brinker is online now  
Old 14th Jul 2019, 04:29
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by richardgb View Post
Hope this is the right forum so apologies in advance if not

A major national transport company has applied for planning permission to build a distribution hub consisting of seven large buildings occupying 288,000 m2 on land occupying ~455,000 m2. On top of the buildings will be an an array of 50,000 sq ft of solar PV panels.

I understand that the inverters used to convert solar energy to AC current will radiate radio frequency electromagnetic radiation, and the buildings are likely to modulate any radiation. According to one US study I've come across it indicates such PV arrays may affect an airport ILS miles away. In the US I understand it's referred to as "Instrument Landing System (ILS) Hazardously Misleading Information (HMI)"

The threshold of Manchester's runway 05 right is only 8 miles from this proposed development, the extended centre line of the runway approach path is only 6 miles away and the cone of the 35 degrees ILS beam only about 3.5 miles away.

Does anyone know whether there are any UK publications or any requirement to involve either Manchester Airport or perhaps NATS in discussions about this sort of thing?

Usual TIA
FWIW I work in a building with a far larger roof top solar array....and its so happens that for reasons we won't go into that I happen to have lots of very sensitive radio's.. I can assure you this is a non issue.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 13:20
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Thanks to all for the replies so far - and the pointers to the EU regulations. They have thrown up another possible aspect which may be relevant.
Article 9 concerned with "Monitoring of aerodrome surroundings" says that Member States shall ensure that consultations are conducted with regard to human activities and land use such as: ...... 9 (d) the use of highly reflective surfaces which may cause dazzling;

The area where the building is being planned is within the Manchester Control area. In order to allow light aircraft to transit the zone in a North/South direction under VFR there is a light aircraft corridor ~4 nm wide with a height of 1300 ft.allowing. The solar array is right in the middle of the corridor and would almost certainly cause glare when flying North - admittedly when it's not raining!

The regulation doesn't define 'airport surroundings' but it seems to me the low level corridor can reasonably be interpreted to mean it's closely associated with the aerodrome since it's there precisely to facilitate transiting the aerodrome control area. I'd appreciate any further comments before I take the matter up with the CAA

It seems to me that the CAA - the relevant authority in the UK should be consulted on this but any further comments welcome before I approach the CAA.

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