Friday, July 03, 2009

Kilgarvan Wind Turbines


Continuing My Post on the Visit
to SWS Wind Turbine Construction Site
at Kilgarvan Co. Kerry

I apologise for the late posting of the second part of this item.
This was due to continuing problems with Google Blogger.
I had to return many time to the Blogger Editing Page as much
of the time I could either not post photographs or see
the photos already posted.
NOTE the photos in this post may not be visible at times
because of Google's continuing problems.

I finally found some windows of time when Google Blogger was actually working and started to upload the photos for this post. Unfortunately, the windows didn't last very long, so it has taken many separate sessions to upload the current set of pictures. I really do hope Google can fix their Blogger soon.

Now about the pictures. Jonathan Millar the Nordex site manager at the SWS Kilgarvan wind farm, has very kindly allowed me to publish four of his excellent photographs. These are pictures taken from the 80 meter high hub of the N90, someplace I would be a bit nervous about visiting. I want to thank Jonathan very much for looking after me on the visit and especially for letting me use these excellent pictures.

Arriving at the Construction Site

The entire mountain top is a place of spectacular natural views. As we drove towards the construction site some man made spectacular sights came into view. The massive Nordex N90 turbine with two very tall and spindly cranes in attendance is an unusual sight to say the lease.

This is the amazing scene as we drove to the construction site
where two slender 90m cranes lift the blades to the 80m high hub

Here is a second view of "daddy-long-legs" cranes during a lift

Closer in to the site the cranes look massive against the backdrop

The Blade Lift

What we really came for was to see the huge blades being lifted into the hub position 80 meters above the ground. The lift is achieved with the aid of two separate cranes. One crane bears the main weight of the hub end of the the blade, while a second lighter crane holds the tip of the blade.

Tricky business positioning the blade with two "daddy long legs" cranes!

Now just imagine you are a crane driver looking up 270 feet into the air. You are moving a huge turbine blade into position with millimeter accuracy. Thing is, you have to coordinate every move with another crane driver and taken instruction from a bloke up top. other thing is, you are doing this on the top of a mountain where every little bit of wind in the world is going to blow, and what you are lifting is a thing specifically designed to catch the wind and turn in it. Now it get to the fun bit, there is the danger that your crane could topple over if there was a big gust of wind caught the blade.

As Seen from Above

How would you like the job of the blokes up top? My head would not stand scrambling around at that kind of height. In the following section there are four photos kindly send by Jonathan Millar and reproduced with permission.

Nice view from the Hub!! Photo by Jonathan Millar

The 3 Blade Trick! Photo by Jonathan Millar

When you are up there at 270 feet, , you get a great perspective of the site and just how precarious the cranes really are. Just don't think about a sudden gust of wind and try not to look down too much!!!

Spot the guy inside the Hub directing the crane drivers?

Directing the crane drivers must be a lot of fun - achieving millimeter perfect, precisely coordinated movements using two 90 meter high cranes takes some skill!!. For sure the crane drivers don't need glasses!!

She is bloody swaying in the breeze!! Photo by Jonathan Millar.

"Move her 2mm to the right lads" Photo by Jonathan Millar.

I hope you have enjoyed this series of photographs of the amazing bit of construction work on these huge and elegant wind turbine. Again I want to thank SWS, Nordex, and Jonathan Millar for facilitating these posts.