Offshore Wind Turbines Installation

When it came to installing the offshore wind turbines off the coast of the UK, they had to call in a special ship for the job. The ship is called the ‘Sea Installer’. This is a custom made ship that is 132 meters in length and as wide as 139 meters. Its design allows it to use the built in 80 meters long legs to jack itself up from the sea bed. This essentially makes the ship more stable, making the installation process a whole lot easier.

Offshore Wind Turbine Installation

The ship has a crane that allows it to carry things as heavy as 800 tonnes. Siemens built this ship and like the turbines it installs, it too uses their technology. The 6.0 MW turbines that were specially designed for the offshore GunFleets Sands and they incorporate a brand new reslin and turbine design. The rotors are bigger making these turbines very powerful. The goal is to try reduce the overall costs of harnessing energy from the wind. The only way the costs can be lowered is by looking at the production, installation and operation processes and redefining them to become a lot more efficient. The Sea Installer contributes to the efficiency of the installation process.

In normal wind turbine installation, the blades are installed blade by blade. This is not the case when they use the ship, it installs the full rotor in one piece. Its a more complicated process, that factors in a lot more things. The ship is loaded at night. 300 offshore wind turbines are to be loaded at the the Gunfleet Sands site, which is being used as a test site to help optimize the turbines, before they can all be installed at the wind farm after the production is complete in the year 2014.

The Sea Installer was built in China, and can also be used for installation in very deep sea waters. This will be Siemens secret weapon for super efficient offshore wind turbine installation in the future.

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