Life at the end of the road

April 13, 2017

Awash :-(

Well first off can I just thank everyone for the wonderful comments and support of late, it’s much appreciated. Me old Pop is in a better place just, probably the top of the Five Sisters with Meg or Mara, his last two dogs that also departed and loved walking Smile He left me with many things, a mistrust of government, organized religion, contentment with my ‘lot in life’ and a love of doing the dishes Smile OK, not exactly a love but just like him, I do them well and don’t mind one bit. I do miss him.

Anyway, at long last we’re home after our brief ‘holiday’ and I can get back on with some serious holidaying, putting up my latest wind turbine for one. At least I could once the place dried out for we arrived home to rivers of water everywhere. It looked like it had been raining since we left on Saturday, the place was awash.

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Still, it was great to see all my hard work over the previous week with Hookies 6T dumper had paid off. This is the area behind the 30 ton wind turbine base that I piped and filled in. It was a small valley a few weeks ago, now it’s a nice flat area for parking and will ensure a much easier task when it comes to servicing the 6kW Proven/Kingspan wind turbine.

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Other drains I wasn’t so pleased with as a couple were blocked and I spent an hour or so in my waterproofs clearing them. Not only was it still pishing down but it was blowing a gale too and had been for quite a while as the 1500lt thermal store was at at a rather hot 80 degrees!! and not just at the top.

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It was even over 70 degrees right at the bottom, which goes to show how well the whole system works. Priority is taken by the batteries and once they are full the wind, solar, hydro energy is diverted into the large water store where the water is heated. As it gets hot a pump starts to circulate the water within the store where gradually it becomes a uniform temperature. All the thermostats for the five immersions are set to 80 and when they open energy is then diverted to 10kW ‘air dumps’ in the shed and workshop.

The 15M Hutchinson mast installation

My eagerness to get on with installing the 6kW Kingspan/Proven wind turbine on Wednesday morning was a little tempered by the weather. It was of those April mornings alternating between brilliant sunshine and fierce cold showers. All carried, at regular intervals on the back of a good westerly gale, which at Sonas leaves little scope for shelter. One minute it was almost shirt sleeve weather the next it was a stinging face and full waterproofs. Luckily our elevation and aspect here gave us ample warning of their warning so if not doing anything crucial we just went inside for a cuppa. They may have been aggressive but they were short lived and diminished as the day progressed.

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The first job was to set the 20 M30 high tensile foundation rod nuts at the correct height, 60mm for the 8 hinge supports and 100mm for the 12 mast supports.


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That done it was down to the car park ‘at the end of the road’ to collect the first section that was 6M long, which is when we hit the first snag. The plan had been to load it onto a trailer and tow it in position but the combined weight of the gin poles and mast was too much for Calum, or at least for him to lift it 1m plus onto a flat bed. We did have a few choices, A) remove the heavy gin poles and try again, B) lift it one end at a time onto the trailer or C) just keep on going. AS you can see we went for the latter option, narrowly missing the blue Discovery, garden gate and our caravan on the way.

Putting the mast into place on the base with the digger was so easy and went so quickly that I never even got a picture, we were too busy ‘patting ourselves on the back. Not only that but we could see a nasty shower on the way so hurried in for breakfast.

The second section, though a couple of M longer is actually lighter and easier to handle, again, with my son at the controls of Calum the digger we soon had that firmly bolted to section 1.

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Before fitting the 600kg turbine head we decided to do a trial raising of the mast, not a task to be undertaken lightly but I needed to make sure all the base studs were in the correct place.

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We lifted it as high as possible with Calum first, then set about lifting it the rest of the way with a 3.2T Tirfor.



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It is a long, slow and tiring job, especially as I’d mounted the Tirfor on the end of 5T strop in the mistaken belief it would put the winch in a better position. The opposite was in fact the case but eventually, in between showers it dropped neatly onto the studs, almost perfectly.


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The stud at ‘5 past’ was ever so slightly misaligned but dropped neatly into position just as I was about to mark it with a pen for surgery Smile

So, then it was lowering the mast, this time to start fitting the actual turbine head, whereupon I had a brainwave that made life much easier. We removed the sides and placed my hydraulic tipping trailer underneath the mast. I raised the bed as high as it would go and we lowered the mast onto it the lowered the last and heaviest part with ease using a combination of the hydraulics and Tirfor.

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That was it really, the frame was fitted onto the mast with the digger and we started assembling the bearings and slip rings. Getting called it at 19:00 to eat the last of the pork in the freezer Smile

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