Merebrook Consulting Ltd has completed a significant ground-engineering project for a new wind turbine test facility at the National Renewable Energy Council (Narec) in Blyth, Northumberland.

Under contract from lead contractor, Shepherd Construction, Merebrook’s brief was to design and oversee construction of dedicated foundations and a support superstructure, upon which the 15MW drive capacity test rig mechanical and electrical equipment could be mounted.

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The works included; vibration analysis, piling, massive pile cap, concrete superstructure, anchoring system, and steel supports for the force application system (FAS) and the permanent magnet motor (PMM) support system.

A total of 60, 900mm diameter continuous flight auger bored piles were installed to a maximum depth of 19m length, with an additional H beam installed to supplement main reinforcement for vibration and fatigue restraint purposes.

Cast in one continuous 22 hour pour and involving 3 batching plants, 3 concrete pumps and a fleet of 27 concrete lorries, the pile cap measures 4m x 12m x 40m and contains 1600m3 of complex spatially reinforcement concrete and an array of high capacity anchor bolt fixings.

The FAS superstructure measures 3m x 8.4m x 10.5m, and the PMM superstructure is 12.8m x 10.5m x 7m. The drive motor and force application systems have a combined weight of 1075 tonnes, and together the overall system weighs in excess of 1600 tonnes.

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For further information on Merebrook Consulting visit www.merebrook.co.uk

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