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World Premiere in Neuengörs: The first transponder-based Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) goes online and provides immediate dark night skies

  • On February 26th at 6.30 pm at the Civic Wind Farm of Neungörs, the permanently blinking obstruction warning light was turned off and replaced with a demand-controlled lighting system (ADLS).
  • The residents around the windfarm reap the profits of maximum switch-off times of the hazard beacons thanks to the newly installed innovative ADLS system.
  • Lanthan Safe Sky was the first company to receive licensing approval for the transponder-based ADLS system and was able to successfully establish the approval processes for switching off the hazard beacons at night.

Walldorf/Neuengörs, February 26th, 2021

It’s a moment which Eike Schuldt, General Manager of the Civic Wind Farm Neuengörs-Weede, has long looked forward to. The constantly blinking hazard warning lights were switched off permanently on February 26th at 6.30 pm and, thanks to the on-demand ADLS, will only light up in future when aircraft are actually in the vicinity. “Public acceptance of wind energy plays a crucial role in its viability for the future. The transponder-based ADLS represents an important building block for us as local operators, in that a maximum switch-off time of the obstruction warning light represents an enormous relief for both residents and the environment. We promised our local communities a swift implementation and we are pleased that the project is now finalized and is even a world premiere”, says Eike Schuldt.

An ATS-3 and a central ATS-4 receiver from Lanthan Safe Sky regulate the reliable switching of the RoburWind beaconing system on the six wind turbines. The company, founded as a joint venture of the successful companies RECASE, Lanthan and Air Avionics, meanwhile has open contracts to equip more than 3,000 wind turbines. From these, almost 100 projects are in various stages of realization. Even in the airspace close to airports, the transponder-based ADLS can reach an average of 98 percent light-off-time, in most cases even close to 100 percent.

“Of particular note in the realization of these projects is the outstanding cooperation between Lanthan Safe Sky and Siemens Gamesa, the service provider for the wind turbines. Even considering the one or two hurdles which needed to be taken, we were always able to count on the support from Siemens Gamesa, which significantly eased the successful implementation”, reports Marc Förderer, Marketing Manager at Lanthan Safe Sky.

Siemens Gamesa installed smart aviation lights on the wind turbines, which function like motion sensors for aircraft in connection to the transponder-based ADLS. Peter Fritzsche, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Service GmbH, explains: “The on-demand aircraft detection system is an excellent example of how clever innovations reduce the influence of the turbines on the environment and the residents in its surroundings. In the fight against the climate crisis, we do not just need turbines which produce cleaner energy at lower prices, but also innovations which can make wind energy generally more accepted. I am very pleased today that Siemens Gamesa can be a part of this world premiere.”

Switching off the continuous lighting was also a special moment for Gerd Möller, General Manager of Lanthan GmbH who, together with other team members, invented the transponder-based ADLS more than eighteen years ago. “In 2002, we were already being confronted with the topic of acceptance by residents. Our first measure was the technical and legal implementation of the visibility control. In this case, the obstruction lighting would burn less brightly in times of good visibility. In 2004, we were first introduced to the concept of on-demand aircraft detection lighting and started to focus on this topic”, remembers Gerd Möller.

“Since then, we have continually improved our transponder-based system, and the long-term dedication to this technology has also been rewarded: in 2018, within the framework of the renewable energy law, it became mandatory in Germany to have on-demand lighting for all wind turbines requiring obstruction warning beacons.”

Neuengörs in Schleswig-Holstein is therefore not only a special premiere, but will also serve as a blueprint for the further projects which will shortly follow. “We are optimistic that in the near future, there will be further parks where the obstruction lights will be switched off”, says Mitja Klatt, Managing Director of Lanthan Safe Sky. “Even with the legal deadline being extended to the end of 2022, both residents and environment benefit from a more rapid implementation. Every obstruction light being turned off is one more step further in the direction of sustainable and future-oriented wind energy.” 

About Lanthan Safe Sky GmbH

Lanthan Safe Sky’s mission is to make the sky a safer, and the night sky a darker place. The founders and central players of Lanthan, Air Avionics, and RECASE joined forces to combine the bundled expertise of a leader in aviation obstruction marking technology, an aerospace approved manufacturer of avionic instruments, and an experienced engineer and consultancy service provider in the field of renewable energy.

The three companies started working together on transponder-based ADLS many years ago, with a mission to create a safe, market-mature, cost-effective and sustainable detection technology.

A lot of hard work went into gaining approval for this relatively young technology. With success, as a broad consensus was achieved. New regulations brought into law in countries such as Germany, but also in the ICAO, the world’s highest level international civil aviation authority, allow the use of transponder ADLS technology. Based as it is on the reception of signals that are already transmitted by each and every aircraft, this technology is emission-free and also cost-effective. 

About the Civic Wind Farm Neuengörs-Weede

The Civic Wind Farm Neuengörs-Weede is a local community joint venture that strives to promote the turnaround in energy policy while also creating added value to the village community. Twelve local farmers were able to successfully implement the high-risk project development of six wind turbines with a total of 20,4 MW rated output in 2017. The ownership of these wind turbines is also completely local. Ninety citizens of Neuengörs and Weede raised the financial equity and formed a limited partnership. In addition, the landowners of the wind farm sites reinvest part of their lease revenue to promote the development of the surrounding villages. The motto of this village collaboration is “Develop villages with wind energy “

About Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Siemens Gamesa is a global leader in the wind power industry, with a strong presence in all facets of the business: offshore, onshore and services. The company’s advanced digital capabilities enable it to offer one of the broadest product portfolios in the sector as well as industry-leading service solutions, helping to make clean energy more affordable and reliable. With more than 110 GW installed worldwide, Siemens Gamesa manufactures, installs and maintains wind turbines, both onshore and offshore. The company’s orders backlog stands at €30.1 billion. The company is headquartered in Spain and listed on the Spanish stock exchange (trading on the Ibex-35 index).

For a safe sky and dark nights.

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