A Rubb custom designed structure is going on an offshore adventure after being lifted into place to provide cover for wind turbine blade improvement and upgrade work.

The building was transferred via crane from the dockside onto an offshore vessel. The custom designed building will support improvement and upgrade operations to wind turbine blades off the Kent coast in the outer Thames Estuary.Building specifications

This offshore building project was a direct request from a company which delivers integrated solutions for the offshore industry via a fleet of vessels which support offshore wind installations.

The company was investigating a wind turbine blade improvement and upgrade solution which would utilise its offshore jack up vessels. To make the operation cost effective and efficient, the wind turbine blades had to be modified out at sea and under cover. Doing this would save the time and money usually taken to transport the blades back to shore, and it would resolve the high risk of personnel doing the modifications up at height.

After working closely with the Rubb design team, a viable concept was created. Rubb provided a solution by designing and constructing a bespoke structure on board the specially designed vessel. The new blade improvement facility was fully constructed on the dockside, then lifted with the a 1000-tonne crane into position onto a specially designed platform.

The Rubb custom designed, wind turbine blade building measures 22.3m wide x 20m long x 5.5m high. This bespoke offshore structure is designed in line with SOLAS to specific wind and snow loads to withstand the extreme conditions of the North Sea. The facility comes complete with three 2-tonne AFT doors to create a climate controlled internal production area. The doors will allow three 58.8m long B58 wind turbine blades to protrude at 19m from the end of the blade, whilst maintaining a weather-proof seal.

To enhance the internal working environment, the structure is insulated with Rubb’s 150mm thick Thermohall cladding, producing a U-Value of 0.25 W/m2K. High Lux level lighting has been installed along with a suitable heating and ventilation system to ensure a temperature performance of +18 to +25 oC and to make sure humidity will not exceed 80%.

Key Structure Design Features

  • Heating and ventilation installation achieving temperatures of +18 to +25c
  • Structure designed to specific wind and snow loadings
  • Rubb custom designed for a 10-year design life in a very harsh environment.
  • Modular designed for installation and disassembly on dockside
  • Thermohall insulated heavy duty PVC fabric cladding
  • Three 6m wide x 6m high AFT doors capable of taking 2-tonne top hat aperture.
  • Specialised foundation frame to enable anchoring to on-board platform
  • Offshore structure designed to be liftable
  • Lighting system delivering suitable Lux level in line with regulation 8 of the Health Safety & Welfare regulations 1992. (440v 3phase and earth, 60hz power supply)

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