Hibaldstow Farm is located just south of the Humber Estuary in North Lincolnshire. Being a large chicken farm, it has a growing and costly demand for electricity. Motivated by a desire to reduce energy costs and reduce the CO2 footprint of their produce, the owners explored the option of generating and selling their own power. Given the exposed and windy location of the Farm, they obtained planning permission to install a large wind turbine.
Obtaining planning permission was one thing, but getting the wind turbine specified and installed was another! Given its experience and technical expertise in installing wind and hydro systems, Renewables First was hired. As well as specifying an EWT DW54 500 kW wind turbine, Renewables First undertook to project manage all civil, mechanical and electrical aspects of the project.
The sequence of pictures below illustrate some of the key activities in the run up to installing the EWT DW54 500 kW turbine.
The first image (left) shows the area of ground between two large chicken sheds where the turbine was to be located. The photograph was taken as the turbine foundations were starting to be constructed.
Visible on the right is the “foundation can” – this will be half buried inside the concrete foundations and will link onto surrounding rebar, thus providing a large steel flange onto which to connect the lower tower section.
Due to poor ground conditions on site, the turbine foundations involved long concrete piles being drilled and cast into the ground (not visible), in order to transfer the load to the stronger underlying ground, increasing the strength of the foundations.
At the entrance to the site, the image (left) shows the new DNO substation slab. This will be used for mounting the new 11 kV switchgear and equipment.
Due to the fact that this is a flood prone area, the concrete plinth is raised well above the highest flood water level, in order to protect the electrical system from damage.
The image on the right shows further progression with the turbine foundations and shows the steel rebar in place. The yellow vehicle in the background is the concrete pump, preparing to pump in large amounts of concrete to bury the rebar.
The picture also illustrates the physical constraints of the site. Due to the number and close proximity of farm buildings, the planned delivery, assembly and installation of the turbine had to be carefully planned, in order to make efficient use of limited space.
The pictures above show the turbine nacelle (right) and rotor blades (left) being delivered and set down in a pre-planned location. Everything was meticulously planned with respect to where each of the turbine components were laid out, in order to save on the unnecessary time and costs associated with constantly moving things around. The rotor blades alone, once attached to the turbine hub, have a 54 metre diameter. Therefore finding sufficient space among the farm buildings in which to assemble these was challenging!
The image (below left) shows the finished concrete foundation protruding from the ground. Notice the partially submerged foundation can. The large white rectangular box is the turbine inverter, over which the lower tower section will be lowered and fixed to the can.
A further illustration of physical site constraints is shown in the picture, below right. This shows a rear-steered low-loading trailor delivering the turbine tower section, which is able to get round surprisingly tight corners. In this case the tree narrowly escaped losing some branches!
Once all of the turbine components and associated lifting gear had arrived safely on site, the turbine installation process could begin…read the next post to see how things progressed.
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