Our King Willem-Alexander opens largest solar park

© Astron; Solarfields (Photo)

On Friday afternoon the 19th of May, our King opened the largest solar park in the Netherlands. With 120 Megawatt and 288.000 solar panels on an area as large as the the provincial capital Assen. This solar park is in the backyard of the core of the LOFAR radio telescope. It is a special dual usage location. The original function is to store waste water from potato processing onto the "vloeivelden Hollandia". The water level was about 2 meter high during the opening. The second function is to generate power for the Avebe potato facility.

What was special for Astron and myself was that I was invited to speak with the King. I took the opportunity to mention Astron and LOFAR, and explained some details about Faraday cages and blocking EMI from the electrical inverters of solar panels.

In August 2019 I gave a presentation to solar plant builders, about how to block unwanted EMI generated by solar inverters. This was successfully implemented by Solarfields and the German company IBVogt. They passed the EMC lab and field test with a large margin w.r.t. the covenant limit.

Between 600 and 700 large (185 kW) inverters had to be modified. We can be proud that not only wind turbines (project DMO) but also large solar parks can become virtually invisible in LOFAR's astronomical observations.

Submitter: Menno Norden

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