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EMR emissions from remote area power supply equipment

Knipe, P. and Jennings, P. (2005) EMR emissions from remote area power supply equipment. Radiation Protection in Australasia, 22 (2). pp. 34-39.

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In recent years there has been growing concern about the potential link between various health effects, related to chronic low level exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

While there is still no consensus in the scientific community about these effects, many authorities are urging a policy of prudent avoidance of unnecessary exposure to EMR.

Regions of particular interest in the electromagnetic spectrum are the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) 50 – 60 Hz, Very Low Frequency (VLF) 10 – 100 kHz and Radio Frequency (RF) 100 kHz – 300 GHz bands.

Remote area power supply (RAPS) systems are becoming increasingly prevalent. These systems tend to use renewable energy sources and their associated technology rather than the conventional diesel generator power supply systems. Recently some concerns have been raised about the levels of EMR being emitted from these new forms of technology. Some of the inverters transforming the generated direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) have produced significant levels of EMR. These devices are often located close to living areas and therefore could increase the potential hazards to residents.

While the main aim of these systems is to replace non-renewable energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they should also be designed to minimise the doses of EMR to which users are exposed.

This paper examines the various frequencies of EMR produced by typical remote area power supply systems (RAPS). The strengths of these fields are measured using various types of monitoring equipment and the health hazards are assessed.

The analysis of these results enables a qualitative assessment of the hazards associated with RAPS systems. This leads to a set of recommendations to system designers and health authorities on sensible measures to be adopted to minimise the potential risks from EMR to the users of RAPS systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Publisher: Australasian Radiation Protection Society
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