The Robin radar technology will help detect and monitor birds that fly near the wind farm, providing the opportunity to adjust the operation of or shut down wind turbines to ensure collisions can be avoided. In particular, MWF aims to prevent harm to wedge-tailed eagle populations.
LPI’s role in this project was to design the lightning protection system, comprising direct-strike protection of the sensitive radar system, effective earthing and bonding, and protection of the electronic equipment from electrical surges.
Protecting a moving part (the radar head), designing earthing on top of a sandy hill (poor soil) and wind loadings issues were some of the challenges faced in this novel project.
LPI carried out soil resistivity testing and modelling, earthing and direct-strike design, and current injection testing after installation. LPI’s flagship products were used, including:
- Guardian Plus corona-minimising air terminal with HVSC Plus insulated (500 kV) lightning downconductor cable;
- Innovative mast assembly designed for high-wind regions without the need for guying;
- Earth enhancing compound (RESLO) to achieve earth resistance targets in bad soil;
- Surge reduction filter on power lines, using Bluetooth technology for status monitoring of surges and operating conditions.
Installation of the lightning protection system was completed in August 2020 and the earth resistance achieved was 3.4 ohms. The radar is currently being calibrated and customised for shutdown procedures.