Groundforce Pumps Help to Save Energy and Time on Major Wind Farm Projects

03 Apr

The new windfarms, which will be capable of supplying electricity to 45,000 homes once fully commissioned, are being constructed by main contractor PJ Carey, on behalf of Bord Na Mona. The Bruckana windfarm in Tipperary, includes 14no. 3MW turbines plus a new 38kV electricity substation. The Mount Lucas 84MW windfarm, in County Offaly will have 28 wind turbines plus an 110kV electricity substation. Works on both sites also includes a total of 31km of new access roadway, as well as crane hard standings and underground cables.

With both of these sites constructed on bog land, the Mount Lucas windfarm is located on a former milled peat production site; there was a lot of ground water to be controlled. It was therefore crucial for PJ Carey’s to have in place an efficient and reliable dewatering system.

Groundforce supplied a total of 14 of its super silent pumps to the drainage works programme at both locations over a 12-month period. These included both its 4” and 6” high performance silent pumps, which are capable of handling clean or dirty water and sewage.

The Groundforce pumps were used to remove the excess water on the areas surrounding the turbine bases. These needed to be kept dry to allow the steel reinforcement to be installed along with the erection of formwork for the pouring of the concrete bases.

The 4” pump will deliver a flow rate of 52 litres per second while using only 1L of diesel per hour, resulting in a running time of 180 hours or 7 days straight, without the need to refuel. The 6” pump is also very fuel efficient, using only 2.67L of diesel per hour, which equates to 80 hours or 3 days running time. These fuel savings result in significant cost savings of up to €100 per day, per pump.

Joseph Lenihan, technical sales representative for Groundforce said. “It was important for PJ Careys to have in place a system that was both cost effective and reliable, as these pumps had to work seven days a weeks to keep the working areas dewatered. These fuel efficient pumps eliminated the need for refuelling over the weekends, and as all our pumps are new, there were fewer breakdowns, which also saved on downtime.”

Joe McCann, project construction manager for Careys said. “The pumps supplied to PJ Careys on these projects were excellent for working in a remote bog environment. The reliability and especially the economy of fuel used, was very beneficial to Careys during the wind farm projects both in terms of actual running costs and the minimal maintenance required. We won’t hesitate to use Groundforce pumps on future projects.”

The windfarms are due to be completed in March 2014 and will be fully commissioned by June 2014.