Global renewable energy industry leader Siemens Gamesa moved part of their offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing process in Hull to a temporary building extension.
Giant 83 metre wind turbine blades are produced at factories situated on Alexandra Dock, Hull and in Great Yarmouth for nearby wind farms along the east coast. The blades are a true feat of engineering; handcrafted as one single, unbroken section, and engineered over the last decade to become lighter and longer, enabling wind developers to boost power production without making turbines taller. As engineers anticipate manufactured blades to measure in excess of 100 metres within the next 12 months, the location of on-site processes has demanded regular re-evaluation and inventive use of existing space.
Towards the end of August, when it was clear the main factory building at Hull needed to be utilised and house another process, Siemens contacted Aganto to discuss a quick build solution for a new finishing workshop. As part of the finishing process, the 20 metre blade tips are kept undercover in an ambient temperature between 15-30 degrees centigrade.
As the enquiry came in, the regional Sales Manager for Aganto, Elliot Birks was able to conduct a same-day site visit. The Hull site already has multiple Aganto buildings, so it was decided to de-rig and relocate one of the smaller 7.5m x 20m x 4.2m temporary structures (used for storage) to make way for an insulated 15m x 25m x 5.2m extension, on a 12-month hire. The new, larger building would be situated next to the relocated storage building and linked to it. This flexible solution kept costs to a minimum by spreading costs over the rental term, which could be extended if needed. The insulated building specification and ancillaries such as industrial heaters ensured a consistent regulated temperature for both materials and workforce, while interior lighting ensured a safe working environment. A lighting upgrade was also to be added to existing buildings while Aganto’s electrical team were on site. As a final bespoke feature for the client, offset PVC curtains were designed to accommodate the curvature of the blade as it is re-positioned into the building.
Siemens Business Improvement Project Lead Paul Higgins noted the quick turnaround as he emailed the instruction to proceed, commenting “Thanks for coming across at such short notice, and for your hard work over the past couple of days.”
Within a week and a half of the initial enquiry the building was completed, minimising downtime and operational disruption.