Powering repeater stations for Scottish offshore fish farms
"We have used lots of types and variants of turbine to try and provide a reliable powering solution for installation in some of the most exposed locations in Scotland. We have found the LE-v150 Extreme turbine to be the first turbine that has been up to this challenge."
Brian Knowles, Technical Director
AKVA group Scotland Limited
Fish farmers along the west coast of Scotland with barge-based fish farms located offshore need to be able to monitor fish behaviour and operate feed systems, even when the weather turns stormy and they can’t get to the barge.
AKVA group Scotland, an international aquaculture business, provides a wide range of technical solutions for these farms, one of which is to transmit images captured by underwater cameras on the barges to staff on the shorebases.
For AKVA, the challenge was to find a reliable and robust off-grid power system for radio equipment located between the barges and the shorebases. Unfortunately, the islands off the Scottish mainland take the brunt of the winter storms where winds can gust up to 120mph. The northerly location of these sites mean a wind component to the off-grid power solution is essential as the short winter days mean solar power generation is quite limited.
Having trialled numerous makes of horizontal wind turbines, AKVA finally settled on Leading Edge Turbines’ LE v150 Extreme wind turbine, a vertical turbine that can survive in conditions where traditional wind turbines fail.
“We have used lots of types and variants of turbine to try and provide a reliable powering solution for installation in some of the most exposed locations in Scotland,” said Brian Knowles, Technical Director at AKVA group Scotland Limited. “We have found the LE-v150 Extreme turbine to be the first turbine that has been up to this challenge. The support of Leading Edge has been an important factor in helping us reach this point.”
The off-grid power system comprises 1 x LE-v150 Extreme wind turbine and 2 x 100W 12V solar panels, with power being stored in GEL batteries. This powers 1 x pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera and 2 x Ligowave antennas for point-to-point wireless communication. There’s also a wind monitoring device so AKVA can monitor wind speeds onsite.
“The benefit of the AKVA ‘repeater station’ setup is it allows fish farmers all over Scotland to have the same functionality on their barges as they would on their shorebases,” continued Brian Knowles. Photos show installations on South Uist, Shuna Island and Isle of Harris, Scotland.