'We were asked to take care of this disassembly on the basis of earlier collaborations with Business in Wind, the commissioning partner', says Ronald, 'the preparatory period was short, which is why I myself was also in attendance'. Ronald guides us through the project.
Days 1 and 2 - preparation and safety
'We are on-site with several colleagues and all the required tools and hoisting equipment specific to wind turbines of this make and model. Mechanical blocks must be installed to prevent the hydraulically driven systems from moving at this point. Once the power supply to the turbine has been switched off, we take additional safety precautions, as well as making mechanical preparations. Finally, we remove all cabling from the tower'.
Day 3 – disassembly of the wind turbine
'Two cranes will have been hired to lower components; a main crane for hoisting and a tail crane to manoeuvre the components horizontally (tailing) to position them on transporters. We begin with the complete rotor (10 tons in total), which is placed on a temporary support next to the foundations followed by the machine chamber (22 tons). After that, the mast is disassembled in two parts (weighing 20 and 34 tons) using the hoisting crane. Our people at the top of the wind turbine and those on the ground use walkie-talkies to communicate. What remains to be done after that is the disassembly of the rotor blades. Road plates are laid on the boggy ground to ensure safe traction and support for the cranes and trailers'.
In retrospect: 'Complete and thorough preparation is crucial'
'The challenge is to ensure that you have everything prepared on site for the moment of disassembly, ranging from staff, tools and hoisting equipment to the cranes and heavy transport. Fortunately, the weather conditions for this task were favourable, and this disassembly progressed smoothly. Leaving a neat and tidy site behind after the disassembly of a turbine always feels good too. Although they were no longer the owners of the turbine, the occupants of the adjacent farm took a great interest in the disassembly exercise. It is understandable that they will miss such a turbine after sixteen years'.
On transport to Denmark
The turbine is by no means a technical write-off, and it will be transported to Denmark, where a second service life awaits. The foundations of the turbine will be dismantled by another company; the remaining concrete material will be recycled for use in constructing the roads of the new wind park.