By Stig Lindegaard Børgensen – Senior Electrical Project Manager

When it comes to the design-phase of electrical components for the interphase between the WTG and Foundations, it is not unusual that issues occur resulting in flaws, delays, and extensions of budgets. In this short article I will discuss some of the challenges that we experience in these types of projects and give some solid advice on how to solve them and hereby gain a more efficient project result.

To learn more, read the article below:

The issue:

When it comes to designing electrical components for the interphase between the WTG and foundation, the task is often complex and put together by parallel tasks, in order to reach the goal.

Among others can be mentioned:

      • Contractual conditions
      • Design completion
      • Planning of production and sourcing

1. Contractual Conditions:

Often in projects like these, the production is close to commissioning even though the finished design is not ready. This is problematic for the success of the project because electrical components most often are installed last in the production process. Whereas steel parts (which often make up 70 – 90 % of the project budget) do not get much attention. In electrical installations there are requests towards the shape of the installation, which due to legislation and quality standards, are not possible to customize similar to steel components. It is here therefore extremely important to include project-consultants that understand the full interphase between steel and electrical components and hereby can communicate with both technical writers, structural engineers, and Electrical & IT-Engineers. Very often on secondary steel components, necessary design-changes have to be made while they are under production, in order to fit with demanded electrical designs. This is highly unnecessary double-work, which is heavy on the budget, not only due to wasted steel materials but also to a delayed timeline.

2. Design completion:

The design of electrical components is made from two primary elements:

The “Need to have” & “Nice to have”.

Whether you are an OEM or the Manufacturer of Foundations for the end-user, there will always be stakeholders with specific wishes towards electrical features and demands towards installation methods, electrical components and space for installation of array cables, termination possibilities on the switch gear etc. Along these wishes towards the design, a list of demands towards the electrical design must be followed, which is defined by the project’s electrical standards.

To lead this form of communication under such time pressure, sadly always requires compromises to ensure that the good design is reachable. Increasing demands from authorities towards monitoring, lighting, radar etc. often complicates electrical installations, as well as raises the cost on the final product. This is often difficult to communicate out to those responsible for the budget as well. It is here that skilled project management, specialized in electrical installations but also with know-how on steel production and the overall production, can be a very valuable asset towards finishing the project design more efficiently.

A finished design on electrical components will in any situation result in significantly fewer variation orders. As electrical installations rarely are flexible and always have an interface with either primary or secondary steel components, late-coming changes to these designs in the project are extremely costly.

3. Planning of production and sourcing 

When contractual conditions are in place and internal communication-patterns in the project group are well-established, the planning of production and sourcing becomes the next important tasks. Most often a sub-supplier will oversee the installation of electrical parts on the foundations. Often it is basic conditions that need to be clarified, for that the production of electricals can proceed as the management of the project has intended. A specific project’s design is crucial for whether there is room for a degree of adaption towards the dynamic execution. An insight in opportunities for pre-fabrication and part-installation in the specific steel components and not least the ability to communicate with all layers of the project organization, is a necessity to clarify the opportunities for adaption, but also that delivery happens on these potential opportunities.

Overall, an important form of support in these projects, is an electrical specialist with deep insights in mechanical constructions. Project groups are often supplied by specialists within sub-areas, but an overall deeper understanding on all the different interphases (not only on WTG’s, but also towards a line of electrical components from foundations and conditions around the installation of monopiles/jackets, and installation of array-cables etc.) is often missing.

The overall reasons, why such a character is vital in a project:

 

      1. To ensure a good and production-friendly design
      2. To minimize variation-orders later in the project.

 

If you want to learn more on how to optimize the quality of your project design towards electrical components, reach out to:

– Senior Project Manager Stig Lindegaard Børgesen at: +45 50 62 07 17

– Sales & Tender Manager Frank Friis Jensen at: +45 29 49 23 18

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