Skip to comments.Manchester airport remains in dark over solar-panel glare solution
Posted on 08/07/2013 8:13:07 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
MANCHESTER Engineers have recommended that solar panels on top of a Manchester airport parking garage be repositioned toward the east rather than the sun-drenched south to prevent glare that has bothered air-traffic controllers, an airport official said.
The recommendation comes as the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport continues to drape tarps over some of the 2,200 solar panels on top of an airport parking garage. The drapes went up last August when controllers started complaining about early morning glare.
Since then, the airport, Federal Aviation Administration, controllers and others have been working with consultants to fix the problem, said J. Brian O'Neill, deputy airport director.
The $3.5 million solar panel installation, the largest in New Hampshire, was paid for with a federal grant and is designed to power the parking garage and sky bridge that lead to the airport terminal. In the summer, the airport sells excess electricity to Public Service of New Hampshire.
Before the project was built, airport officials hired a consultant Harris, Miller, Miller & Hanson of Burlington, Mass. to apply for the FAA grant and study glare issues. The firm earned $41,570.
Ever since the glare emerged, the firm has been working with the airport, O'Neill said.
"They've been very thorough with their due diligence," O'Neill said. "There hasn't been any 'No, no, no. We're not responsible, this is your problem, not our problem.' They've been very cooperative to work with."
An email sent to the firm Tuesday was not returned.
The next step is for the firm and its insurance company to present the ideas on how to solve the glare issue, O'Neill said. The firm could either agree with repositioning the panels or suggest another solution.
Another team of consultants, which involves engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Volpe Center and Sandia National Laboratories, has recommended repositioning the panels to the east.
O'Neill acknowledged that the repositioning will reduce the energy output of the panels; sun from the east is not as strong as sun from the south.
But the plan calls for adding another 180 panels, so the energy output 560,000 to 575,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year will remain the same, he said.
The airport still expects to reach its target of $100,000 in energy savings a year, he said.
O'Neill said the consultants and working group are moving into the second phase of discussions, which involve who has to pay to correct the problem. The price tag would also include $34,800 for work done by the MIT/Volpe group.
"We're going to get back together and discuss responsibility and discuss the path for correcting the problem," he said.
The beat goes on.
When liberals get into science, chaos, disaster and mayhem result.
How about just buying Polaroid sunglasses for the controllers? or polaroid window film? venetian blinds? Oh, wait, this is gubermint ... rebuild the control tower elsewhere.
Yeah, the DOT Volpe Center is in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It had been a DoD facility, and when Nixon carried 49 states, he called in the Secretary of Transportation, former Massachusetts Governor Volpe and told him, “You just got yourself a building.”
ROTFLMAO at ‘sh*t for brains’ (thanks, ‘Vacation’!) Red England liberals and marxists...the rot is spreading across America.
Clearly the only solution is to line the runways with windmills.
What you are suggesting is called a radiation fence when it is used to prevent one RF source from interfering with another. The fence casts a small shadow on the victim “antenna”, but otherwise leaves the field of view unaltered. Painting a sillouette of panels (in white?) on the windows of the control tower, so the controllers would be sheilded from the glare might be perfectly workable. The sillouette would have to protect all the points where controllers work, but not block visibility of surfaces that the controllers need to see. I’ve been to that airport and am familiar with the parking garage. I think it is favorably enough situated to make that practical, but I am not sure.
I’ve been in the Logan control tower, and buildings in Boston, a few miles away, can cast glare into the tower, though it does not seem to be as serious as at this site.
The building I work in casts blinding glare from its partially mirrored windows onto a local street at the right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) in the morning.
For 3.5 million US you can buy 35 million KW hours. So in 60 or 70 years these panels will break even. Way to go tax payers!
solar panels..................the aluminum siding of the 21st century.
Are you imaging a control tower where the view point is only from a single seat, nobody moves around or stands up?
my neighbor just spent big bucks on solar panels. When I pressed him for return on investment he wouldn’t tell me anything.................and That told me all I needed to know.
I wonder whether some time in the future when there are a lot more of these solar panels they will find that all this reflected light is actually warming the planet.
Read it again. It would have to cover all the locations where controllers work from, and afford visibility to all areas that they need to observe. Might be a shipload cheaper than moving the friggin’ panels.
Somebody failed geometric optics 101 when they plotted the “glare path” is what I think.
Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool
Maybe they could paint them a non-reflective flat black? < /sarc>
Or the gubbmamint will need to build a special sunglass plant for making custom air traffic controller glasses.
Look at the pictures I just posted. They are too close to the runways & taxiways for that to work.
This is not an insurance issue or a valid claim. This is a design flaw.
A friend that lives down the street from me just checked on solar for her house. She found out real quick that she can’t afford it. We live in the central valley California where our electric bills are over $600 a month in the summer. Even with that she can’t afford to buy them and once a lease was explained she was like wow.