Wind turbines creating problems for fixed wireless solutions

Someone asked me about wind turbines as a potential way to extend fixed wireless networks. So I have been looking for more information – what I found is potentially dated but folks I’ve spoken to seem to offer the same advice – wind turbines and wireless networks don’t mix. The turbines create interference for the networks. It would be great to hear from someone if there is an updated solution.

Here’s what I learned from a Think Broadband article from 2012…

A fixed wireless service that provides Internet access for some 500 people in and  around Northlew may be at risk from an 80 metre wind turbine.

While from a distance wind turbines can look tall and thin, the pedestal is pretty wide to support the weight, and additionally the blades can create periodic drops in signal level and variable amounts of reflection. Ofcom in 2008 looked more closely into this, and for a single turbine concluded that if the turbine is in the signal path, a 2dB drop in signal level is likely.

This means that if the wireless service in Northlew is a single transmitter with individual antenna at each property, picking a reasonable location should avoid any problems. If subsequent wind turbines are added to create a wind farm, then things become more complex, and the Ofcom testing suggests that farms can create fairly large periodic drops in signal level.

This entry was posted in Wireless by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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