D-Link's outdoor wireless access points used in Native American wind turbines


D-Link is talking up a project installed on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana, home to the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of Native Americans. Two wind turbines are generating power for the reservation; they use D-Link Wireless Outdoor Access Points to gather status and performance information from the turbines.

"We needed a way to control the wind generation towers," said Paul Weyrauch, owner of Gaffaney's. "We didn't want to run extra cables because of the expense involved, but we needed to monitor performance levels and be able to shut down the turbines in extremely windy conditions. We also had to consider the harsh weather conditions up here. It's very windy, and temperatures can drop to -40° Fahrenheit."

       The wind turbines, located at the Fort Peck headquarters a mile from town, were already installed, but there was no control network in place. "All the specifications and research we looked at indicated that a wireless network would offer the most efficient, cost-effective solution," said Weyrauch.

       "The D-Link DWL-7700AP operates in very harsh conditions," said Weyrauch. "This was the only product we found that could withstand -40° Fahrenheit. Transmission capability over long distances was important, too. We could have gone with another access point, but then we'd need to build a heated building to house it."

It's just a "look what we did!" press release, but it sounds like a useful project.

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