Wind farm supports multiple wireless networks across the North Sea

Wind farm supports multiple wireless networks across the North Sea

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

French IoT specialist Kerlink is supplying low power gateways on multiple networks for wind farms in across the North Sea in a unique deployment.

One of the LoRaWAN gateways installed on the Borssele Alpha platform, managed by Dutch transmission system operator TenneT, links 700 MW of offshore wind farms to the Dutch power grid. The network, which was deployed and is operated by SkyLab, Kerlink’s partner in the Netherlands, enables a variety of safety applications, such as search and rescue (SAR) systems, life jackets with precision location capabilities, emergency-location beacons, and buoy trackers.

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The deployment, highlighted on Earth Day, uses outdoor industrial-grade LoRaWAN Kerlink Wirnet iStation gateways. The embed a dual packet forwarder that enables the orchestration of data transmission simultaneously on multiple LoRaWAN networks.

This helps to increase connectivity in the North Sea area for all potential users such as shippers, electricity providers and consumers, and businesses and area residents as private, public, or commercial networks can run simultaneously. The ability to deliver data to different types of servers allows to flexibly adapt to different types of use cases and shows the capacity and versatility of Kerlink gateways to support network sharing with other infrastructures, as well as the possibility to add more densification with different gateways.

 “This LoRaWAN deployment is unique because it serves multiple-user LoRaWAN networks,” said SkyLab Director Remy de Jong. “It supplies IoT coverage to a challenging and sometimes harsh North Sea environment high above ground level on platforms and wind turbines. The result enables smart applications and all types of wireless sensors and devices where they have not been deployed previously.”

 The North Sea connectivity will support several safety applications, such as search-and-rescue operations, which are enhanced with SkyLab’s Emergency Location Beacon that speeds up rescue in “man overboard” situations. The applications also will enable climate and weather monitoring, and asset tracking, via gateways deployed

“This project with SkyLab demonstrates the continuously growing range of IoT deployments that can  improve business efficiency, customer service and safety,” said Stéphane Dejean, Kerlink CMO. “And as with Kerlink’s previous projects in the Netherlands that are bringing cost-efficient LoRaWAN® connectivity with multiple benefits to new and existing business sectors, these applications will find new markets that want to deploy them, leveraging Kerlink IoT gateways’ proven performance, robustness, and reliability.” 

 These new Kerlink IoT gateway deployments extend a series of the company’s projects in the Netherlands. The most recent deployment was in the Port of Moerdijk, where a LoRaWAN network was installed with SkyLab on a large wind farm in 2020. In addition to monitoring weather and sea traffic, it enables IoT connectivity to businesses and households in the port.

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