Temporary blasting shelters for the power generation maintenance industries
Origin Energy is an Australian integrated energy company exploring for and producing natural gas, and generating power through natural gas, wind and solar. Origin has multiple energy plants and numerous turbine generators to supply electricity.
One major challenge faced by all power generating companies, including Origin Energy, is the need to constantly service their turbines and to periodically have them rebuilt and upgraded. For this particular set of upgrades to the 4 turbines at the power station it was required that a large mandrill of the turbine was abrasive blasted in its entirety. This meant that the shelter had to allow for this huge cradled unit to be moved into position on a huge cart.
Blasting is required to take place outdoors to reduce the noise of blasting. Previously the blasting containment shelter was built indoors. It now had to take place in an encapsulated space and have a fully contained environment and allow for particulate and waste capture. Some of the challenges of creating such a space is the sheer size of the turbines, needing a whopping 8m x 12m x 7m height of internal space. Not only did the shelter have to be BIG, it also needed a huge entrance and exit as the cart could not reverse. Further, due to the positioning of the turbine mandrel the booth needed to incorporate internal skins to attenuate blasting noise as well as blast screens to catch blasting media and protect the frame. With so many critical criteria and such a large space requirement Origin Energy also required the solution to be portable and relocatable to service their other turbines throughout the country.
Based on the valuable lessons we learned from our Siemens experience and utilizing new materials and inflatable frame geometry we overcame one of the biggest design hurdles. That was how to achieve such a cavernous opening to a very large space and still being able to maintain structural stability and a workable weight. Workshopping the design options in a very collaborative design process with their operations team and our engineers we came upon the brilliant idea of lifting the shelter over the turbine when it was in place.
Together with the team from Origin we completed a workable design and then purpose build this unique Blasting shelter. It was based on a constant air inflatable frame shelter technology that was stable enough to be lifted 3m into the air by the utility of a mobile crane at each end.
Giant Inflatables Industrial delivered this to our client in under 35 days. This innovation saved days of time and thousands of dollars, solving the problem of a safe, large and outdoor workspace. This shelter can be quickly deflated and packed up onto a pallet and very easily and quickly redeployed for use when needed.