Project Status

Since September 2010 all eleven wind turbines are fully installed and operational. The picture below shows the Estinnes wind park with 11 operational Enercon E-126 WECs on 10.10.2010.
 
RTEmagicC 11 turbines E-126 7.5MW wind farm Estinnes Belgium small
This picture was taken by Tony Aerts.

Oh, what a feeling - dancing on the ceiling!
In the beginning of December 2011, continuously strong winds were back and let the wind turbines generate close to their limit and well above 7,5 MW for WEC #03. Measured instantaneous output examples (observed by coincidence, not necessarily a maximum):

07.12.2011, 14:50, 7,555 MW
07.12.2011, 14:51, 7,609 MW
07.12.2011, 14:52, 7,535 MW
07.12.2011, 14:58, 7,550 MW
07.12.2011, 14:59, 7,566 MW
07.12.2011, 15:24, 7,528 MW
07.12.2011, 15:25, 7,526 MW
07.12.2011, 15:30, 7,524 MW
07.12.2011, 15:33, 7,618 MW
07.12.2011, 15:51, 7,546 MW

This is the first wind park in the world where several of this most powerful wind turbines of the world, a 7MW scale wind turbine, type Enercon E-126, are installed. It is the first time it is installed in a series installation process. Consequently the installation process was under continuous development. Apart from the technology implemented to build the wind turbines and the specialists who were involved it was the weather which had a significant impact on the installation activities. In example, the installation period for the tower, which takes several weeks, can be halved at favourable weather conditions. Also, mounting the rotor requires the most advanced engines and favourable weather conditions.

The graphics and photos below provide information about the site and illustrate the installation process.

 

(1) "Eleven" E-126 wind turbines are being installed on 456 ha. A yield exceeding 187 GWh per year is expected. This corresponds to 41 kWh per m² and year.

Picture source: WindVision

 

(2) Each E-126 foundation at Estinnes has 29 m in diameter and consists of more than 1.400 m³ of concrete and over 120 tonnes of reinforcing steel. The foundations total weight is approximately 3.500 t. Approximately 140 lorries of mixed concrete are required to construct one foundation.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 01.2009

 

(3) The tower comprises 35 prefabricated concrete rings which are glued together on site. On the bottom the towers diameter is approximately 16,5 m. The first five rings are divided in three segments because of the large diameter (>14m). The next twenty five rings are composed of two segments and the last five rings are delivered in one-piece. About 1.200 m³ of concrete are needed for one tower. It's total weight is approximately 2.800 t.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait  / 05.2009

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(4) The segments are glued together to a complete ring before being piled up. For gluing the different diameter segments together Enercon uses 4 hydraulic 'stars' that put pressure on the rings while the glue is drying. One ring segment may weight over 40 t. The wall thickness may reach 45 cm.

Picture source: WIP / 03.2009

 

(5) After gluing together the prefabricated segments, the rings are piled up and glued together ring by ring. It takes between two and four weeks to install such a tower.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 05.2009

 

(6) During the piling-up process steel cables are passed through from the top to the bottom and pretensioned. The towers height is 131 m.

Picture source: WindVision / 09.2008

 

(7) Lifting the nacelle with a weight of approximately 120 t. Together with the generator the nacelle will have a weight of approximately 320 t. The generator is also manufactured in two segments which are joined on-site.

Picture source: WindVision / 11.2008

 

(8) Tower with installed nacelle.

Picture source: WindVision / 01.2009

 

(9) When installing the first WEC, the 1.600 t crawler crane was not yet available on site. The blades were thus installed with less powerful mobile crawler cranes and individually.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 12.2008

 

(10) From May 2009 the worlds highest capacity mobile crawler crane, a 1.600 t crane, manufactured especially for the crane operator and project partner Sarens by Texex- Demag, type CC-9800, was available on site and helped reducing installation time significantly. This crane is able to lift the complete hub with three rotor blades  exceeding 330 t in weight to an altitude of 135m.

Picture source: WIP / 05.2009

 

(11) Lifting the complete hub with three rotor blades to 135 m (hub height), step 2. The weight, including fixtures, exceeds 350 t.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 07.2009

 

(12) Lifting the complete hub with three rotor blades, step 3.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 07.2009

 

(13) Fixing the hub.

Picture source: WindVision / 07.2009

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(14) Fully installed and operational E-126.

Picture source: WindVision / 03.2009

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(15) The rotor blade of the E-126 is divided in two segments. An inner metallic segment and an outer glass fibre reinforced plastic based segment (outer segment with light green colour). The weight of one outer segment is 8 t. The rotors diameter is 127 m.

Picture source: WIP / 06.2011

 

(16) Fully installed and operational E-126.

Picture source: Olivier Boigelot / 05.2009

 

(17) Wind park installation status by July 2009.

Picture source: Philippe Haulait / 07.2009