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Wind turbines causing radar problems

Wind turbines are being developed for a large French wind farm to overcome the problems they cause for radar.


Wind turbines are being developed for a large French wind farm to overcome the problems they cause for radar.

A little known problem of wind turbines is that they can interfere with radar signals, which can make it difficult to distinguish them from low-flying aircraft.

EDF Energies Nouvelles is building a large 96-MW wind farm in Perpignan, France using turbines developed by Vesta of Denmark. The turbines will have a special coating borrowed from military stealth aircraft. Fighter jets like the Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk have angular shapes and special coatings to help them evade radar. According to a report in phys.org, the coatings convert radar signals into heat, which means they won’t show up on radar stations.

The potential for wind farms to potentially block radar has blocked dozens of wind farms around the world and in France the military wants to be consulted about any wind farms planned within 30 kilometres of its radar stations.

The turbines also cause problems for weather forecasting. Recently Environment Canada announced it will be adopting new software technology to overcome this issue.

To read a report by Reuters dated September 5, click here.

To read a report in phys.org, dated September 9 click here.

To read a CBC report about wind turbine interference with weather radar from Environment Canada, click here.