Busy Week

The wind farm expansion is going ahead full speed. It is a busy time.
The towers, blades, nacelles and hubs have all been delivered. Today we offloaded 3 blades, a nacelle and a hub. Now all of the peices are at the site. We placed the bottom tower section in the middle turbine. We completed the assembly of the rotor, and we hope to complete the assembly of the boom for the crane.

Monday, weather permitting, we will lift three tower sections, the nacelle, and the rotor. This may be optimistic though – the rotor may not occur until Tuesday.

The project has gone smoothly, but any project of this size has a few challenges. The turbine base tower section is placed in a high quality grout, which seals it to the foundation, and also bears the load. Like the concrete, samples were taken to test, to confirm that it cures properly. We had planned on using some left over grout from another project. It was stale dated, so we tested it. No go. So we had to find replacement grout in a hurry. Mission accomplished, but it could have caused a delay, and the contractor was resourceful in locating it.

The crane we are using is a 600 tonne hydraulic crane. It is smaller than the crane used last time, as the nacelle is about 10 tonnes lighter. The current V80 has a transformer in the top that boosts voltage from 690 V to 13,800 V. The new turbine has that transformer on a pad mount at the bottom. This, and some other design changes, lightens the weight considerably. So we can use a smaller crane, at considerable cost savings (if you call $750 and hour cost saving!). It drives on the road, but separate trucks carry the counterweights and boom sections.

But there was a problem with the crane when it arrived, and it lost a day due to a computer chip malfunction. Fortunately, they repaired it quickly, and we are back on track.

The small crane we can use this time.

Raising the “stub” portion of the tower. It only weighs 18 tonnes.

Raising the bottom tower section

The nacelle arrives

A peak inside the hub

A wind swept tree the corner of the farm. Wind guys love these.

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