London Array bares all

4C OffshoreAlan O’Neill, an experienced offshore photographer, has completed a 360-degree virtual survey for the London Array – currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Over four days, Alan, from photography and video company CHPV, captured more than 17,000 images covering every aspect of a wind turbine and offshore sub-station.

In order to access the inside of a monopile below water level, he was assisted by a confined space and rescue team from James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS). 

“It took seven people and 30 bags of gear to get just me and my camera in position,” he said. “JFMS’s people had to vent the space and install special access and rescue equipment so I could safely climb down about 20 metres.”
Also present was a technician from London Array, with a dedicated crew transfer vessel standing by.

Martin Myhill Sisley, managing director of JFMS renewables services, said: “Being able to work with London Array and support CHPV and Alan in the creation of an exceptionally beneficial virtual tool was a great opportunity. Utilising our skills, knowledge and experience, we were able to control and provide a safe environment for CHPV to work in and access all areas, ensuring optimum conditions.”

Working its way progressively to the very top of the nacelle, CHPV took individual photographs of specific points of interest and 360-degree panoramas. The whole exercise was repeated for the offshore sub-station, with its labyrinth of compartments and passages.

Magnus Blomquist, of
London Array, said: “The London Array team has been delighted by how useful this tool has been from the outset. London Array started using it immediately upon delivery for O&M, engineering and inductions, and there will be much improved safety benefit to working offshore at London Array, making people familiar with the assets before even stepping foot onto a vessel.”

London Array has been operational since since April 2013 and is situated in the Thames Estuary with a capacity of 630 MW, supplying enough power for nearly 500,000 homes and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 925,000 tonnes a year.  

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