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Greening LOFAR toward Green Science operation

Submitter: Arnold van Ardenne
Description: In recent years, the interest in the potential of greening¯ Science has taken off (see e.g. AJDI 25 Sep 2012). Some thought went into this matter much earlier, at the conception stages of LOFAR in 2001, but this proved to be a bit ahead of its time.

Now the time may have come, so a greener LOFAR was on the table in a recent Charrette¯ held in Dwingeloo. It assembled all the energy-related parties in the Northern Netherlands, a region that is famous for slowly sinking due to natural gas extraction, accompanied by deep rumbles on the lower Richter scales. Serious thought was expended by the various panels, which consisted of a stimulating mixture of experts and energy laypeople, the latter mostly from ASTRON.

The picture shows a fair cross-section of the participants, as some had already left, given the dynamics of the field of renewable energies.

In the end, plans were drawn up for further steps. It is encouraging that, after a winter in which the Sun has not often been seen in the Netherlands, people continue to believe in solutions involving Solar energy. In fact, a small team was formed to look into the possibilities of greening the core of LOFAR with non-obstructing Solar PV installations around the SuperTerp. Of course this will only go ahead if and when absolute certainty has been obtained that this new neighbour of the super-sensitive radio telescope is RFI-friendly. At the same time, the arguments against unfriendly¯ windmills near the LOFAR core might be strengthened.

We are looking forward to a future update of these activities!
Copyright: ASTRON
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