New technology offers offshore wind safety

wind turbines Biral is preparing to test its BTD-350 thunderstorm and lightning detection system for offshore wind farms. Image: Biral
Industry Database

A new thunderstorm and lightning detection system designed to make offshore wind farms safer will be tested in Scotland.

Meteorological equipment specialists Biral has been working closely with ORE Catapult to further develop its BTD-350 thunderstorm and lightning detection system for offshore wind farms and is installing its technology for testing at the Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife.

Hugo Aniksztejn, international sales specialist at Biral, said: “Working with ORE Catapult has been invaluable in helping us better understand how the BTD-350 thunderstorm and lightning detection system can offer real-world safety benefits to the wind turbine sector. We hope that this partnership will give potential customers from this sector confidence in the performance of our innovative new product.”

Real-time information

The BTD-350 provides operators with advanced, real-time information about all forms of lightning to a range of 83 km. It can provide warnings of overhead lightning prior to the first lightning discharge and a false alarm rate that is almost zero.

Designed for marine applications, where severe weather, salt water corrosion and platform vibration produce a challenging environment for environmental sensors, the BTD-350’s metalwork is corrosion-resistant stainless steel and aluminium, further protected by marine-grade paintwork. Reinforced antenna supports prevent damage from excessive vibration.

Plans are now being developed to further demonstrate the technology in real-world conditions at Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Demonstration Centre, off the coast of Aberdeen.

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