Saturday, November 17, 2012


The European Union has set their sights on renewable energy to the tune of 20% of all generation to be in place by 2020. Therefore, there is a rush to build offshore wind farms on the North Sea off Belgium, Holland, Denmark & Germany. They're talking like 17,000 turbines, which keep getting bigger and bigger. Like I mean huge. How about blades that are 3oo feet and more in diameter? Monopiles, (the support shaft) are as large as 7 m.(21' to you metric illiterates) in diameter and 200 feet tall. The turmine on top of all this is the size of a house. So how do you build these behemoths that can be 100 miles offshore in 150 feet of water? Why you call up IHC Merwede in Holland and order a huge seaworthy working platform. The latest version, called Neptune, can carry and install a complete turbine in a round trip from port in about 15 days, with accomodations for 60 workers.

Take a look at the photo . The large platform is neptune working with a smaller earlier model. They float out there under their own power, set down the legs and jack up the whole thing to be clear of waves. They have already set the tower and turbine nacelle. Note the rotor blade laying on deck which goes up last. The platform has a heavy duty crane that can easily lift the 316 ton nacelle, even double that.

Not to worry, bird lovers, the rotors turn so slow no one is going to get hurt. When completed, the field shown, will generate electricity for 600,000 people. Well, if you don't have any dams, what are you gonna do?