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Brabourne Supports Renewable Energy

10 March 2008

Whether for or against energy from wind and wave power, it’s here to stay. Over the next decade thousands of wind turbines will be installed across the UK. Onshore wind farms are constructed in remote areas where there is little or no infrastructure and where, naturally the weather conditions are often harsh.

Constructing these wind farms poses a number of challenges, one of which is ensuring the safety of the workforce. Workers are often alone or at a great height, therefore an effective and reliable on-site communications system is essential. Apart from the security and safety of the workforce, any downtime can cost thousands of pounds an hour.

Brabourne Communications Ltd (BCL) have been working closely with one of the UK’s major wind energy organisations to create a rapidly deployable on site radio communications system, which provides a range of lone worker and safety features. These include the BCL BALWS (Brabourne Advanced Lone Working System) which is rapidly becoming established as the benchmark for onsite lone working systems.

Following a detailed site survey a VHF repeater is deployed with a suitable antenna installation. The actual installation will vary from site to site and will be determined by local conditions. The repeater installation provides the network coverage. Portable radios are equipped with manual emergency, lone worker and man down alarms and with the BALWS system this can be extended to allow out of hours lone worker cover.

The first of these systems is being deployed at England’s largest onshore wind farm near Rochdale. The farm consists of 26 turbines generating 65MW of energy. This is enough energy to power the needs of approximately 40,000 homes, thus preventing the release of 160,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

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