My Work

Blade Runners

Right, with the hub and blades removed and secure on the aft deck, we now need to remove the blades, this is a tense time for Tom the engineer, if these barges are out of position by 50cm the blades may not fit into there purpose built holders on the main deck, and we cannot move the barges now.

First the nose cone has to be removed and stored on deck.

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Once removed the guys get inside and undo all the bolts from the first blade to be disconnected and the two cranes are attached.

This again is a very tricky lift, both cranes and a banksman are in total communication with each other throughout the whole lift.

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The cranes weave the blade through and over the legs. This shot gives you a good view of the Deep Diver and a sense of scale of the operation.Wind Farm12-42-09

From a different angle under the watchful eye of Tom, seen on the top level.

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Here you can see the purpose built racks which hold the blades in place while work is carried out on the hub replacing the bearings. Also the nose cone and to the right the stand that holds the hub in place. To give you an idea of size, the barge is 32m wide and the blades are 50.5m long, so they stick out over the edge a bit.

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Once all three blades are removed the hub is made ready for its lift.

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And it’s lifted over my office, when I say office I mean the place I have my positioning equipment set up.

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Secure on the main deck the guys get to work, these guys work so well together, every one know exactly what they are to do and just gets on with it, what i found amazing was the way they all adapt to the work place, for instance, one guys will be welding one minute, the next he will be working the mini crane to help someone else and later he will be sweeping up when that part of the job is complete, its clockwork at it best.

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Old bearing being removed.

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13 comments on “Blade Runners

  1. Great photos showing the whole process. It didn’t seem so large until you showed the rig next to it for scale. Those babies are huge!

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  2. This is a great blog…has to be one of a kind! The machinery, engineering, and the precision required of the work in such a demanding environment are fascinating and, as you point out, the people doing the work, yourself included, are amazing. Thanks for sharing it.

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  3. Rich McPeek

    Wow! Very cool Mark! Well done!

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  4. Wow that’s quite the job. You’re doing a great job of documenting this Mark.

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  5. You just don’t realize the size of these objects until you see them to scale with other objects – like humans! Superb series, Mark

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  6. I felt nervous for Tom looking at these pictures, but delighted to hear that it all went like clockwork.

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  7. Just switch out that blue sky with some stars and it looks like a space station!

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