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UK: Turbine switched off because of flicker

The £1million wind turbine next to Whitemoor Prison is to be switched off at certain times of the year because 'shadow flicker' is upsetting inmates.

Peter Skoulding, whose company Snowmountain Investments built the turbine, said they have held talks with prison officials following complaints.

"The shadow flicker upsets some of the prisoners in the library," said Mr Skoulding.

"We always knew it was a possibility and we have a bit for a computer being made in Germany that will ensure the turbine doesn't operate on some days."

He said there were times of the year - in part of April and May and in October - when the early morning sun was in such a position that it caused the 42 metre rotating blades to flicker over the prison. It happens when the sun is low in the sky and shines on a building from behind a turbine rotor. This can cause the shadow of the turbine blades to be cast onto the building, which appears to flick on and off as the turbine rotates.

Mr Skoulding's consultant, Geoff Taylor, led "very neighbourly" talks with prison chiefs to resolve the issue.

It was a possibility both parties had always been aware of, and it was something considered when the turbine was first proposed.

"It was forecast by our... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Peter Skoulding, whose company Snowmountain Investments built the turbine, said they have held talks with prison officials following complaints.

"The shadow flicker upsets some of the prisoners in the library," said Mr Skoulding.

"We always knew it was a possibility and we have a bit for a computer being made in Germany that will ensure the turbine doesn't operate on some days."

He said there were times of the year - in part of April and May and in October - when the early morning sun was in such a position that it caused the 42 metre rotating blades to flicker over the prison. It happens when the sun is low in the sky and shines on a building from behind a turbine rotor. This can cause the shadow of the turbine blades to be cast onto the building, which appears to flick on and off as the turbine rotates.

Mr Skoulding's consultant, Geoff Taylor, led "very neighbourly" talks with prison chiefs to resolve the issue.

It was a possibility both parties had always been aware of, and it was something considered when the turbine was first proposed.

"It was forecast by our computer operated data - and there are two periods of the year when shadow flicker could have a security aspect on the prison," he said.

Mr Taylor said reports that the turbine was being shut down for four hours each day "is only about two per cent accurate".

It depends on whether the sun is shining, and the time of day, and the date

"and then, and only then, will we shut it down".

He said the request to close it was reasonable, and would have no impact on the turbine's operations: when closed routine maintenance could be carried out.

However, John Stoneham, local organiser for the anti-turbine Save Our Skylines group, said he had always warned it would have an adverse affect on Whitemoor Prison.

"This was our main objection," he said. "The turbine gives off sweeping shadows and is one reason why it should not have been built next to homes, factories or a prison."

He said the turbine rotated 6,750 times every 90 minutes and its affect could be " both irritating and very stressful to those concerned".


Source: http://www.cambs-times.co.u...

APR 7 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/654-uk-turbine-switched-off-because-of-flicker
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