All current events, press releases and developments around our company and Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS).
A press release from Topwind BV, in cooperation with Light:Guard GmbH
Barneveld, 29th November 2023
Topwind and Windkoepel Groen have reached an agreement for the supply of ADLS for all parks within Windplan Groen. ADLS stands for Aircraft Detection Lighting System, an advanced system that allows aviation lighting on the wind turbines to be turned off as much as possible at night and in the evening. The system’s delivery is in close collaboration with Topwind’s partner Light:Guard, a party with extensive experience in this field in neighboring country Germany.
The system provided by Topwind and Light:Guard is based on transponder technology. Aircrafts emit a transponder signal, which is then received by receivers on the wind turbines. Unique to the approach at Windplan Groen is the additional use of multilateration (MLAT), a refinement technique that allows for even more precise determination of the aircraft’s position, resulting in further “lights-off time.” Given the proximity to Lelystad airport, this holds extra value for humans and the environment.
Once this system is operational, it will become the largest Dutch wind project using ADLS technology based on MLAT. The substantial mast heights (around 160m) will significantly contribute to the system’s ‘detection range.’ Optimal signal strength and coverage are expected in the flat Flevopolder. Additionally, the wind plan comprises various types of wind turbines. Martin van den Bosch, project leader from Topwind, stated, “It’s fantastic to be able to integrate all three different turbine types with our interface. The combined IT expertise of Topwind and technology partner Light:Guard, along with a high dose of practical experience, enables us to manage this integration optimally.”
Before the system becomes operational, a test phase will take place, including a practical flight test. The delivery of the ADLS system aligns perfectly with Topwind Systems’ mission to support wind park operators with innovative systems. Topwind is actively engaged in further deploying ADLS across the country.
30th October 2023
Light:Guard is the exclusive partner of Vestas in the field of Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS). Both for existing turbines and, more recently, for new turbines, the light:guard system can be obtained directly from Vestas.
In order to be able to answer park operators’ questions in more detail about the current status of ADLS equipment, Vestas and light:guard recently held an online seminar. In addition to the welcome news that the retrofit for ADLS-ready is almost complete and that the 80% of all light:guard systems sold by Vestas and us have been installed, there were also updates on dark-switched parks and news on further acceptances.
The most important questions and answers are summarized here:
Question: is the ADLS deadline extension legally binding yet?
Answer: The deadline extension was left uncommented by the Bundesrat in the consultation process and is now being discussed in the Bundestag. You can find everything else about the deadline extension in our statement under this FAQ.
Question: What is the timetable for installing the hardware?
Answer: All systems should be installed by the end of 2023 at the latest. A wind farm specific date can be requested via [email protected].
Question: Are there already wind farms with an active ADLS system?
Answer: Yes, we already have various single sites and also already parks with multilateration from cluster 1 active. In addition, we have already darkened over 500 turbines with radar ADLS systems from our sister company Quantec Sensors. Since we were also responsible for retrofitting the ADLS infrastructure at various manufacturers in addition to the ADLS systems, our activation generally takes place in three steps: 1. retrofitting/verification of the parks’ infrastructure, 2. installation of a ADLS system, 3. aerial survey and acceptance. The first step has already been completed, the second step will be in the near future, and after that, the dark switching of all parks will follow with a big swing as the third step.
Question: Do you have more detailed information on the layout of the clusters in Rhineland-Palatinate?
Answer: Our experience with cluster 1 is that the acceptance process works better and faster when the clusters are smaller, which is why we have divided cluster 2 into three parts.
Question: When will the site-specific tests for my region take place and when can we expect the certificates?
Answer: The exact schedule is subject to postponements and changes, but the following rough forecast can already be made: By the end of the year, it is planned to fly about 30% of all remaining wind farms and the final certificate can be issued for 15% of all wind farms. This concerns mainly cluster 1 (Hamburg), cluster 2 (Saarland/Rhineland-Palatinate) and Central Germany (Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia). Southern Germany (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg) will be flown in the first quarter of 2024 and subsequently certified. Northern Germany (Brandenburg, northern Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony, northern NRW, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and rest of Schleswig-Holstein) will be surveyed and finally certified in the first quarter of 2024 with a separate team by then.
Question: Why does the site survey take much longer than for other ADLS providers?
Answer: The site survey differs depending on the design of the ADLS system. There are three approaches: one ADLS system (receiver) per WTG, one ADLS system (receiver) per park (island solution) or one ADLS system (receiver) per park, which also receives the information from all other receivers. The quality of the signal is highest in the third solution approach (multilateration) pursued by Light:Guard. However, this is also the most complex in terms of system design and accordingly leads to increased testing efforts. However, we stand behind our system design, as we believe that in the long term it will enable the highest light-off time in parks, the greatest reliability and the highest safety can be guaranteed. We therefore ask for your understanding that the tests here are more long-term – but in our opinion therefore also more accurate and with higher legal certainty.
Question: You have started to issue temporary certificates for site-specific testing by DAS. Can you briefly explain them?
Answer: The temporary certificates were a response to the originally submitted draft legislation. Here, there were more stringent application requirements. The recently passed law has removed this again. The time-limited certificates are therefore no longer applicable.
Question: What is included in the terms “complete and auditable”? The level 2 audit? In Brandenburg, we generally receive provisional approvals or now only confirmations of receipt. Is that sufficient from your point of view?
Answer: In our view, confirmation of receipt of the permit from the authority is sufficient as proof or fulfillment of the requirement. Due to the open wording of the legal text, we recommend consultation with the relevant network agency or relevant law firms.
Question: Are further wind farm-specific functional tests necessary after completion and evaluation of the aerial survey?
Answer: No, no further tests are necessary after that.
Question: Does a survey/certificate for a surveyed area also apply to wind turbines erected there later?
Answer: Certificates are issued individually for each wind farm. In the case of larger areas, the survey is carried out for the entire area; in the case of non-contiguous wind farm areas or individual wind farms, the survey is carried out for each individual site. In areas completely covered by multilateration, it may happen in the future – since more areas will be covered over time anyway – that no additional aerial survey is necessary.
29th September 2023
The German Federal Council (Bundesrat) has passed an amendment to the General Administrative Regulation on the Marking of Aeronautical Obstacles (AVV). This regulation is one of the most important for the legal regulation of Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS) in Germany.
Analogous to the planned EEG amendment (see below), the AVV amendment contains an extension of the deadline for the mandatory involvement of the type approval bodies (BMPSt) for the site inspection. These are now to be more closely involved in the procedures. In addition, ADLS systems must always provide a site-specific verification or an aerial survey. This is already the case with Light:Guard, so there is no change in the process for us and our customers.
In general, however, we expect longer and more expensive procedures as a result of the compulsory involvement of the type examination bodies, also due to their capacity bottlenecks. The recommendation of the Economic Committee to dispense with the mandatory involvement of the type examination body in order to reduce the additional procedural effort and thus not to jeopardize the expansion of wind energy has not yet been complied with.
For further information, we recommend the position paper of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).
Husum, 12th-15th September 2023
Of course, we were also in Husum, the gray city by the sea – but this time without our own booth. So we were able to talk directly at the booths of our partners. Many thanks to all for the interesting exchange!
18th August 2023
The deadline for equipping wind turbines with Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) is going to be postponed once again. This is the result of a planned amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), also called “Solar Package I”. So far, however, it is only a statement of the Bundesrat on a bill of the Federal Government to amend the EEG. The extension of the deadline was left uncommented by the Bundesrat during the consultation process and is now being discussed in the Bundestag.
The new deadline for implementation will be January 1, 2025. This deadline had been expected last year with the 2023 EEG, but was then shortened to 2024, only to be finally extended again. According to the German government, many plant operators would not have been able to meet the original deadline, which would have threatened them with a penalty under Section 52 of the EEG.
This remains in place, but is postponed by one year. Nevertheless, operators should act quickly. § Section 9 (8) has been extended and now stipulates that “operators who have commissioned systems before (…) 31.12.2023 (…) must immediately submit a complete, verifiable application for approval of an Aircraft Detection Lighting System”.
Of course, Light:Guard will continue to support you in obtaining the approval. We are cooperating with all relevant authorities and will equip all installations in our portfolio with Aircraft Detection Lighting System in due time.
For further information and legal classification, we recommend this article by prometheus lawyers (German only).
Isernhagen, 12th January 2023
Light:Guard GmbH has launched a partnership with the sustainable mobile communications provider WEtell GmbH. The aim of this cooperation is to provide unlimited data volume for industrial applications in wind farms. This means that mobile Internet can be provided via the Light:Guard customer router to operators who equip their wind farm with our Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) and do not have sufficient Internet available.
Isernhagen, 2. November 2022
A decision has been reached in the patent case between Wobben Properties GmbH and Light:Guard GmbH. The Düsseldorf Regional Court dismissed the action brought by Wobben Properties GmbH, which manages patents for wind turbine manufacturer Enercon, at first instance. The dispute concerned European patent EP 1 984 622 B1, which relates to transponder-based Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS) on wind turbines.
Hamburg, 27th-30th September 2022
WindEnergy in Hamburg is the international information and meeting hotspot for the wind industry. We were again represented with a booth this time. Thank you to everyone who paid us a visit and was a guest at our booth party. See you next time!
Potsdam, 10.-12th November 2021
We would like to thank everyone who visited us at our booth 179 and on Thursday in Forum 15. You can find the program and the presentations of our forum for further reading in the program booklet or at the Wind Energy Days Website.
Isernhagen, 20th July 2021
In the patent matter between Wobben Properties GmbH and Light:Guard GmbH, a patent lawsuit has now been filed by Wobben Properties, as no out-of-court settlement has yet been reached. Wobben Properties exploits patents and trademark rights for the wind turbine manufacturer Enercon. The content of the dispute is the European patent EP 1 984 622 B1, which concerns transponder-based Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS) on wind turbines.
Isernhagen, 12th July 2021
The light:guard system for Aircraft Detection Lighting System is now offered for Vestas wind turbines as part of a full maintenance contract. Previously, signal delivery could be ordered either through Vestas or directly through Light:Guard. From now on, this will be simplified by integrating the signal delivery into the existing maintenance contract via an addendum.
Isernhagen, 12th July 2021
Light:Guard GmbH now offers to carry out site-specific testing for wind farms. This offer is part of the signal supply contract for the conversion to Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS). For this purpose, Light:Guard works closely with the approved certification body DFS Aviation Services GmbH in order to make the handling of the approval as smooth as possible.
Isernhagen, 11th March 2021
To make it easier for wind farm operators to switch to Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS), Nordex Group and Light:Guard GmbH have developed a joint solution, ADLS-Ready. Nordex Group and Quantec Sensors GmbH, Light:Guard’s sister company, have already been working together on ADLS since March 2020.
Isernhagen, 19th January 2021
Quantec Sensors GmbH and Vestas Deutschland GmbH are starting an extensive cooperation in the field of Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS). This primarily includes the installation of Quantec Sensors’ light:guard system in Vestas existing wind turbines.
Isernhagen, 24th November 2020
Light:Guard GmbH’s transponder-based Aircraft Detection Lighting System (ADLS) has successfully passed the type examination. With the recognition and handover of the corresponding certificate on November 23 of this year by DFS Aviation Services GmbH, the light:guard system is considered certified.
Isernhagen, 23rd October 2020
With the final flight, the transponder based Aircraft Detection Lighting System of Light:Guard GmbH successfully completed another milestone of the type examination on October 22. Testing was based on the General Administrative Regulation for the Marking of Aviation Obstacles of April 20, 2020. The type certificate is now expected shortly.