A recent survey sheds light on the effects of wind power plants on mobile networks and the reception of terrestrial TV

Published 02.02.2015

The number and the average size of wind power plants have grown significantly in the 2000s. As a result, their effect on the functionality of radio systems has become an increasingly important question. According to a recent survey commissioned by FICORA, wind power plants can cause reception problems in the terrestrial television networks if a power plant is located between the transmitter and the reception location. The impact on mobile networks was seen as delays and slower data transfer speeds in UMTS networks. On 23 February 2015, FICORA will host a discussion meeting on the results of the survey carried out by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The impact of wind power plants on the functionality of radio links and surveillance radars has been acknowledged. It has been estimated that power plants cause interferences to other radio systems as well, which is why FICORA commissioned VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to carry out a survey on the effects that wind power plants have on mobile networks and the reception of terrestrial television broadcasts. The survey was completed in early 2015. The field measurements for the survey were carried out in the area of the Peittoo wind park in Pori.

On the basis of analyses of the terrestrial TV network, wind power plants cause a shadow area if a wind power plant is located between the transmitter and the reception location. Viewed from the direction of the transmitter, reception problems may occur behind the wind park and, to a lesser extent, in front and at the sides of wind power plants.

With regard to the mobile network, the survey results indicate that a high-density base station network limits efficiently the areas affected by wind parks. The most significant effect on the quality experienced by users was discovered in the UMTS network where the deterioration of a radio channel is noticeable in delays and data transfer speeds. The delays in the LTE network where not much affected and slower data transfer speeds did not cause any significant interference to e.g. web services. The effects of wind power plants on GSM calls were small.

The effects of wind parks on mobile networks were discussed in the survey on the basis of VTT's measurements and analyses of them, whereas the effects of power plants on television emissions were examined on the basis of Digita Oy's measurement results and VTT's theoretical examinations and calculations.

VTT's final report is available here: The effects of wind power plants on mobile and TV networks [pdf, 13 MB] (in finnish)

Discussion meeting on the effects of wind power

FICORA will hold an open discussion meeting concerning the effects of wind power on mobile and television networks. Experts from VTT will also participate in the meeting and present in more detail the survey results. The meeting will be held on Monday, 23 February 2015, from 12pm to 3pm at FICORA, Itämerenkatu 3 A, Helsinki, 5th floor. We warmly welcome, in particular, the representatives of wind power operators, radio frequency users and authorities in charge of issues related to wind power. You can submit your registration for the meeting by e-mail to Anitta Laine (anitta.laine@ficora.fi) by Friday, 13 February.

Further information:

Kalle Pikkarainen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 390 458
Ritva Suurnäkki, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 390 645


Key words: Spectrum , Telephone , Television , News , Reports

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