My Work

Wind Farm Again

Ok, if you are reading this then I have to presume you are not bored of wind turbines yet, thats good because today is the start of the geeky stuff.

Yesterday I mentioned the height of the cranes and the fact that they can’t reach the turbine in their current position, so what do we do? It’s a jack-up barge so we jack-up, and this is how.

Below is a photo of one leg, the Excalibur has 8 and the Deep Diver has 4, this is on the Excalibur, you see the rusty bit of tube in the middle? Thats the leg, inside the two grey cylindrical bits connected by a 3m hydraulic tube are eight rubber bladders, these rubber bladders are filled with compressed air to expand them and the air released to deflate them, easy.

So to go up the eight bottom bladders expand holding us in place, the hydraulics tubes extend (like in the photo) and once at the correct height the top bladders are filled with air, once we know they are secure, the bottom bladders are released and the hydraulics close to raise the barge by closing the gap, thats 3300 tons of barge, thats about 25.3 blue whales.

In the photo below we are at the top of the leg, about 30m out of the water.

Wind Farm17-34-34


This is what the two barges look like at working height, this was the first time I saw them like this, the rest of the time I was on board the Excalibur.

Wind Farm05-39-44

All of the turbines have a height of 73.5 metres (241 ft) and height to top of blade of 124 metres (407 ft). The blade length is 50.5 metres (166 ft) and each turbine has three blades. Each turbine weights 290 tonnes.

Have a great weekend.

10 comments on “Wind Farm Again

  1. Declan Doyle

    Thanks rigmover for the really interesting blog the project seems even more exciting than I thought. How many of you were on the rig to do all this work , and how do you cope with being all cooped up together at sea in porter cabins ? Did you have to take the turbines down or just the blades like in your photo. Keep up the geeky stuff , great work! Bill

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi Declan, glad you enjoy it, there was about 30 of us, I had a cabin to myself but if you didn’t then your opposite number was on the other 12 hour shift, so you sort of had the cabin to yourself. We took off the blades and hub, but check into my blog next week for more. Cheers.


  2. Wow. The machinery is impressive!


  3. This must be awesome to see this in person and have a part in the process too. Thanks prof and you have a great weekend and know the lesson was well taught !


  4. I think that as with many of your readers your blog gives us insight into such an unusual world that it is great fun to enjoy it vicariously.


  5. anitanola

    By now, I should expect to be astonished by your photographs so I shouldn’t be surprised that the sight of that barge jacked up so high above the water with cranes lifting off unimaginably large and heavy fans had my jaw dropping! I cannot even wrap my head around what you do for a living! It’s amazing. I do want to thank you for making the descriptions accessible and so interesting. It’s an understatement to say I’m not mechanically inclined but I truly cannot imagine thinking up such wondrous things as wind farms in the ocean, much less the systems and equipment to service and keep them running.


  6. I can’t get over how massive those blades are!


Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: