We have passed the half way point of the turbine installation phase and thought we would take the opportunity to catch up with Dave Ellis, Site Installation Lead for Siemens Wind Power.
Can you tell us a little more about your role and how long you will be working at Pen y Cymoedd?
My role at Pen y Cymoedd Wind Energy Project is Site Installation Lead which is part of the Management Team for Siemens Wind Power. I’ve been onsite since November 2015. My role consists of ensuring site safety for all personnel, co-ordination of transport/logistics and installation works. I also ensure all works are in line with our quality procedures and guidelines. Leading all personnel to achieve the goals set out by Siemens on site on a daily basis is another area of my responsibility. I also identify any improvement opportunities within on site safety, technical and logistics within the site execution phase of the project and developing solutions and implementing these on site to achieve our Zero Defect and Harm Culture.
The turbines will all stand at 145 metres to tip, but the blades vary slightly in length. Why is this?
The reason why we have two rotor diameters (108 and 113 meter) is due to tip height restrictions in the area and load limitations due to different wind conditions on site for example a 108 meter rotor can withstand higher winds and a 113 meter rotor.
Can you tell us more about Dino Tails? Why does each blade have these jagged edges?
Dino Tails are serrated flaps that, true to their name, resemble the tail fin of a stegosaurus dinosaur. They are mounted at the airflow breakaway edge close to the blade tip, which accounts for most of the noise and energy produced by the blade. They also decrease turbulence on the trailing edge. Dino Tails can also enhance the performance while still keeping local acoustic emissions to a minimum.
What have been the main challenges in getting the turbine components to site?
To start with we have the length and weight of our components to consider. With our longest blades reaching 55 meters and our heaviest component, the nacelle weighing in at 90 tonnes. To get these components to site safely from Swansea Docks requires careful planning with the local councils and the police who escort the loads and give us safe passage through junctions and roundabouts. We also communicate the deliveries using a variety of methods to local people in the effort to minimize disruption.
Can you tell us more about how each turbine component is prepared before it is installed?
Once the components arrive onsite they are inspected by our quality team. After this process they are deemed ready for our teams to start preparation works, This can consist of mechanical works and fitting electrical components in preparation of building the turbine. The more work we can do on the ground the better to keep working at height at a minimum.