SFL Mobile Radio has recently designed and successfully rolled out a two way radio system for Statkraft’s Alltwalis Wind Farm, near the Brechfa Forest, South Wales.
The energy company has upgraded from a digital voice system using standard non-keypad Motorola DP4400s to a GPS telephone interconnect system enabling personnel to be tracked using Motorola DP4801s.
SFL carried out a full site survey to gauge the specific requirements needed at Alltwalis Wind Farm and to ascertain the system would operate effectively.
A Motorola SLR5500 repeater was also installed as the two way radios were unable to transmit and receive over the extreme environment. The repeater was needed to boost the signal throughout the site and inside the turbines.
As the location is so rural, there is no mobile phone network and so the 12 engineers who are servicing the turbines are able to set up their own mobile phone via their radios and make and receive outgoing and incoming calls, as well as keep in contact with each other and the substation which is a mile away.
All the DP4801 portable radios have a special pre-programmed emergency channel which opens on every radio across the wind farm.
Radios are also equipped with a lone worker timer that automatically activates a pre-alarm every 30 minutes – if the worker does not react to the alarm then an alert is sent to the substation and a channel is opened to the radio.
In addition, the emergency button on the top of the handset is programmed to alert other radio users and let them know who is in potential distress. The radios’ display provides incoming caller ID and indicates when the emergency channel has been opened so workers know immediately when a call is potentially serious.
The engineers were also given lapel mics for additional safety when climbing the ladders inside the turbines.
Benefits of the Motorola solution to Alltwalis Wind Farm
The new Motorola solution has provided a feature rich radio system that offers one-to-one calling, emergency calling, transmit interrupt and lone worker protection.
Coverage issues across the wind farm have been resolved and workers can now communicate with each other instantaneously resulting in improved operations, security and safety.
The system has also addressed the logistical problem of deliveries to the site, engineers can be contacted when deliveries are made to the substation.
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