I’m back in the land of the internet, no silly limits anymore, I actually got back last week but the wife and I headed off to Bruges for a few days R&R.
So this wind farm business! Why? How? I’ll try and explain.
First of all there are two barges, The Excalibur and the Deep Diver, these have to be positioned in such a way, with about 50cm tolerance so we can use both cranes at the same time, this is very important which will become clear in later posts.
We can only move these barges at slack water (In between tides) as the current is very fast because the water is so shallow, a couple of meters in some places. First we move the Excalibur and about 6 hours later the Deep Diver, we use two boats, the Valiant and the Sergeant Pepper.
Here’s the Valiant.
And the Sgt Pepper.
Photo by Sydney Sinclair
We use the Valiant to tow us close to the location with help from Sgt. Pepper, then the Valiant is released from the tow and with help from Sgt. Pepper we walk the barge onto it’s final location, this is done by placing one leg on the seabed and with the Sgt. Pepper pushing or pulling we swivel around that leg, we will then drop another leg and do the same again, a little bit of tweaking and we are there.
Here is the Deep Diver on location at one turbine, the Excalibur has already been moved off to the next turbine.
Coming alongside the Excalibur for my lift off by Billy Pugh, you can get an idea of the scale of the job at hand.
Now some of you may have noticed the cranes don’t seem big enough to reach above the turbine to remove it, more on that tomorrow.
Well it’s a big day today, Hank gets painted today, and will I be there to see it go down? No, will I check it out tomorrow or the next day? No, you see on Wednesday I had to go to work and as you should know by now it’s not a 9-5 job, so Wednesday morning I catch a plane to Dublin then a hire car to Arklow which is on the east coast of Ireland, I stayed in the Arklow Bay Hotel the night which was very nice. The following morning I was on a boat to my next place of work.
And this is it.
Home for the next 3 weeks or so.
We will be taking the turbine off, then the blades and replacing a bearing and putting it back together again, 7 in total and so far 3 have been done, we have two jack up barges on location and they both have to lift and juggle the turbines into place so ill be taking lots of photos and go through to process later, so watch this space.
The only drawback is they only give me 500mb of data a month and I will be using most of that on this post so you will have to wait until I get back home, I should be out here for about 3 weeks.
Keeping with the work theme, this is a job I was on in the English Channel, we were installing twin cables from Sheerness in the UK to Rotterdam, these are for wind farms, the idea is when it is windy in the UK we sell our electricity to The Netherlands and when it’s windy in The Netherlands we buy electricity from them, it aint going to happen that way though, we will buy the power from them weather its windy or not!.
Now the boat, this is the Olympic Zeus, it’s a big powerful AHV that has been fitted out with a cable joining workshop, you see the two fun looking water slides over the stern roller, they are cable guilds. What happen’s is, we send down their crane and our ROV and find and connect the cable to the crane, it then pulls up the cable on the port side slide, the cable then goes up the deck on the rollers and around the half circle frame at the top of the deck, then down the starboard side and into the white workshop. You can see we already have the cable in the starboard side slide and up into the workshop. Once the cable is in the workshop the technicians screw on a couple on blocks, wrap some tape around it and chuck it in the water, actually it’s a bit more complicated than that, as it takes 2 to 3 days to join the cables together. If you could see the cables close enough you would notice the markings on them are different, this is so they connect the right ends together.