Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

September 20, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal MintGiant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint souht wales

 

When I arrived at the site early in the morning for the first day, I set up my kit in the far side of the work area ready to work on filming and photographing the Daffodil wind turbine. The wind was picking up, and there were a few spots of showers which made things tricky to start. For the day I set up two of our drones where I would control them in turn. Seeing as I was there throughout the day, I needed to make sure that I wasn't going to lose battery power at any crucial moments of the build.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

The first thing to build was the cranes themselves. This would require a bit of time and work on the contractors part to get everything set up for what is known as 'The Lift' which involves the main drum of the turbine to be lifted off the truck onto its stand and bolted into place. After getting a few photos and footage of the cranes being set this big long green drum from the back of a lorry comes down setting itself in-between the two cranes. At this point, while they were attaching the chains to each end of the drum, I was grounded by a passing shower temporally. Lucky this was not for long and at the earliest opportunity I set the drone up into the air once again to capture what was next going to be a very impressive moment to witness.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal MintGiant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

Both cranes are lifting either side they both free from the load and is suspended in mid-air knowing what was coming next I had the drone ready to film 'the lift' One crane starts lifting while the other holds the drum in position. Very elegantly and sequenced they maneuvered the drum vertically, hanging only by the one crane while the other holds the slack. For a few moments, the wind picks up leaving the contractors having no choice but to hold position while the wind died down. As they were clear professionals, they would not risk any form of momentum from the drum, and this could cause it to be uncontrollable and possibly damaging any equipment onboard.

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Once the wind had settled, they continued onto moving the drum into a pre concreted area ready to be bolted in place. For this moment on the crane held its position while workers bolted everything in place from the inside. During this time, I relaxed for a few moments enjoying the sun and eating some snacks.

After a few hours, the main motor that sits on top of the drum was chained and lifted into the air by the bigger crane. Hovering at a safe distance, I noticed on the screen you can see a very brave man standing at the top of the drum preparing the area ready for the next area to be lifted into place. Slowly as the component descended over the poor man like a very large hat you could rapidly hear the sounds of confirmation that it was truly in place followed by some hammering here and there.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

Another few hours passed, the crane at this point was still holding the area in the place with some chain and rope. One poor soul who drew the short straw, Either that or rock, paper, scissors was not his game had the unfortunate task of stepping outside onto the top of the turbine and detaching the ropes. It seemed to of taken it like a champ however as he was not phased when a strong gust of wind swept in, Well done to him..

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

Again, at this time more hammering and drilling was taking place from inside the now half-built turbine which was near completion. I was told that outside progress would not be going forwards for a few more hours and I don't think anyone, including myself, was willing to let a drone take off from inside the turbine to get some shots. So again, I waited. For the few moments sitting in my car I moved the central mirror to angle at the cranes keeping a close eye on the situation making sure I wasn't to miss a thing, I found myself having a small nap.

During this time both parties of the contracting group were trying to decide if it was safe to start lifting the blades. At this point, it was 5 pm and the wind was getting pretty strong, so it was decided by all parties that things were to continue early the next morning. So, one by one we all left the site knowing that day one of the turbine builds was a very productive day all round.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

On the second day, things weren't so laid back. As I arrived, the weather was clam and completely different from the day before. It was a 'Breeze' to fly around as there was no wind or clouds in site. They had laid out the turbines to be fitted to the main part. To do this, they needed to position the center piece nearby to the cranes and then each blade to be placed across the field lined up to their cosponsoring positions. This was a very long process which took several hours to get right as I imagine if something like this needs to be right. After a while, each blade, in turn, was picked up and slotted into place. After a short break, things started to get interesting as they now needed to pick up what was four heavy pieces now one massive heavy piece of machinery up and onto the side of the turbine. But without any hesitation they all started to cable this huge piece onto the two cranes. The same situation as with the drum one crane would lift while the other would hold the slack. Cameras and drones at the ready I witnessed what was a very impressive site to see but believe it or not they picked up those blades with ease. While the blades were suspended in mid-air, I managed to get a couple of low shots of the team looking up at their nearly completed turbine while it got positioned closer to the main part. With that poor gentleman's head poking out of the top of the turbine again he lined it up perfectly. Once that part was over you could then witness the turbine in all of its glory.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

With a bit of hammering and shouting from inside the turbine was now all in working order. But the cranes were still attached to the blades. Again, the workers gathered straws and voted the weakest link to stand on the top once again. Bravely he detached some of the cable and ropes. To remove the ropes from the ends, they simply pulled from the ground to make the blades turn to allow them to fall off.

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

After some rounds of tea the men gave themselves high-fives all round and started packing down. One truck at a time they slowly started to disappear off into the distance. I decided onto myself to wait until everyone had left so I was able to get some final images of the turbine without anything or anyone in the way. Luckily for me, the sun was out, and the ground was dry, so I just waited and watched as they all ended their work day leaving a monumental turbine painted as a daffodil behind..

Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint Giant daffodil wind turbine to power Royal Mint

 

Aerial Photography and Videography in South Wales


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