The materials handling sector involves a huge range of manual, semi-automated and automated equipment. They are used for a broad combination of roles including the protection, storage and control of materials throughout their manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption and disposal. However, the role of electrical systems controlling this equipment and ensuring day-to-day safety is often underestimated. Roxtec UK divisional manager David Chalmers explains how his firm works with material handling specialists within the wind farm sector to ensure electrical systems, fundamental to the operation, are professionally protected.
Failure to seal electrical cable entry points can lead to essential equipment malfunctioning or shutting down, which results in disruption, spiralling costs and, in the worst case, can endanger lives and assets. As a result, it is essential that safety and communication equipment are protected by the most stringently tested safety seals. Roxtec is involved in many OEM market sectors including rolling stock, cabinets, generators and turbines, motors, switchgear and vehicles. Essentially, any piece of equipment which has electrical cabling could be sealed using the company’s seals.
Granada Materials Handling & Hornsea Project One wind farm
Due to the wide and varied range of equipment used within the materials handling sector there is frequently a large amount of electrical cable penetrations requiring robust and reliable sealing. An example of work Roxtec has delivered in this sector involves the Hornsea Wind Farm One project, spanning more than 400 square kilometres off the Yorkshire coast.
The project involved the supply of cable seals to more than 170 davit cranes for specialist manufacturer, Granada Material Handling (GMH). They required an adaptable and flexible sealing solution which provided the ability to do maintenance work and re-install cables when required. The offshore wind farm will use seven megawatt (MW) wind turbines, measuring 190 meters in height – larger than the Gherkin building in London. The wind farm is due to become operational in 2020 and will have the capacity to supply more than 1 million UK homes with electricity.
Three Roxtec seal kits were installed on each of the Granada Python Foundation Davit Cranes – sealing multi-cable transit openings and protecting the equipment. The davits were installed on the foundation piece of the wind turbines and will be used to load and unload materials and equipment. Cables were sealed using the company’s stainless steel frames complete with a modified sleeve. Crucially, they are able to provide a watertight seal to protect the davits electrical equipment from the notoriously harsh conditions faced out at sea.
The seals used for this application have an IP67 rating which guarantees operational reliability. Another important aspect for the wind farm sector is that the seals specifically provide protection from dust ingress and immersion in water down to 1m depth. Various other standard solutions were applied including Roxtec R seals – which are round with a square packing space for multiple cables, pipes and modules. Compression is integrated in the frame and it enables installation around existing cables and pipes. Roxtec also supplied Roxtec RS seals for single cables. The entry seal has two openable halves with removable layers making it adaptable to cables and pipes of different sizes. The design of the transit makes it easy to install around existing cables or pipes.
Removing costly and timely design processes
With this particular project for GMH, Roxtec carried out the design work. To further help designers, Roxtec also offers free online software called Roxtec Transit Designer (https://transitdesigner.roxtec.com). This can be used remotely with speed and ease removing the time-sensitive and costly process of designing detailed cable configurations. It can be used on computers and touch screen devices and essentially helps designers and engineers select the right sealing solution. They can filter by application, certificate and sealing requirements enabling the design of a transit in just minutes. The project team gets it all right from the start – with manufacturer-approved 3D models, drawings, material lists and installation instructions. Roxtec recently supplied sealing solutions for the £1.3billion Rampion Offshore Wind Farm in the English Channel, located 13km off the coast of Sussex. The major development has a target capacity of 400 MW and is expected
to be completed in 2018. It will occupy an area of 72 square km, close to three times the size of Manhattan Island in New York City. The contract with developer Eon adds to a growing portfolio of work in the offshore renewables market. It involves sealing single-core cables, both high and medium voltage, in the bulkhead and deck areas of the platforms. Roxtec has designed a customised solution, involving trefoil formation cable seals for medium-voltage switchgear and split plates for high-voltage and export cables. While informing the design process engineers have also delivered training to ensure effective installation and management of the seals.
Roxtec’s solutions are particularly suited to the materials handling market because they are flexible and versatile. They can be used for many different applications. Just within the wind turbine market they can be used on many pieces of equipment from control cabinets to generators and converters. In addition, they are easy to install, inspect and maintain. With safety being of paramount importance Roxtec’s seals provide certified safety guarding against fire (A0-A60), gas, water pressure, corrosion and provide cable retention. Within the European wind farm market alone Roxtec has now supplied cable sealing solutions across more than 40 projects.
For further information visit the website www.roxtec.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0161 761 5280. Visit www.roxtec.com