The Te Uku Wind Farm Project has involved repairs to the 49m long turbine blades, installation of power curve upgrade (PCU) components and installation of a leading-edge protection (LEP) system.
The initial challenge with the project was to resource it with technicians possessing a highly specialised skill set. This was overcome by recruiting technicians from Europe who had the required competencies as well as sending our New Zealand rope access technicians to Europe to complete the specialist training required.
Accessing a work site between 30m and 80m off the ground brings with it a variety of safety, cost and quality challenges. All working at height access methods are affected by wind and the wind speed limitations mean that our technicians must be flexible in their working hours as well as efficient when the weather is favourable.
The specific task being carried out also dictates the access methodology.
Rope Access is a quick and, if correctly managed, a safe access method for inspection work and light tasks such as blade repair and PCU installation. SRG Global has a highly experienced team of IRATA rope technicians with blade repair competencies that can perform this work.
The LEP installation is a complex task requiring specialist equipment. Modified crane baskets with enclosure were found to be the best solution. SRG Global personnel were trained to communicate with the crane driver to position the work platform and assist Siemens Gamesa with the blade repair and LEP installation on this project.