Transcript: Impossible Engineering S 4-Ep 5 - London Array Wind Farm | Jul 21, 2021

[dramatic music]

Fast clips show images of massive modern engineering structures around the world.

The narrator says FROM THE PLANET'S
MOST STUNNING STATE-OF-THE-ART
STRUCTURES...

An engineer on a construction site says BELOW YOU RIGHT
NOW ARE ABOUT FIVE JET ENGINES.

Another engineer on a rooftop says THIS PROJECT IS
AN ENTIRE CITY WITHIN A CITY.

A third engineer says EVERYBODY IS
EXCITED, IT IS THE ONLY ONE IN
THE WORLD.

The narrator says --TO ITS MIGHTIEST MODERN
MACHINES...
(CHEERING)

A man jetpack flying across a pond says WOO-HOO!

A man says THIS IS THE
ULTIMATE INTEGRATION OF MIND AND
MACHINE.
WE ARE REDEFINING THE APPROACH
TO HUMAN FLIGHT.

The narrator says --NONE WOULD HAVE BEEN
POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE GROUND
BREAKING INNOVATORS OF THE
PAST.

A man inside a small aircraft says "I've done a lot of crazy things but I think this is the best."

A man riding an old race car says I'M GOING TO
STICK PEDAL TO THE METAL NOW.

A clip shows images of hundreds of wind power turbines in the middle of the ocean.

The narrator says IN THIS EPISODE, THE LARGEST
OFFSHORE WIND FARM ON THE
PLANET...

A man in safety gear says WE'RE ACTUALLY AT
THE VERY CUTTING EDGE OF THE
INDUSTRY, NOTHING ON THIS SCALE
HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE.

Another man says 175 TURBINES 12
MILES OUT AT SEA.

The narrator says MARINE ENGINEERING IN A
LEAGUE OF ITS OWN...

A man in a control room says THE
CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE TURBINE
WITH THE BLADES ON IS ABOUT THE
SAME AS THE LONDON EYE.
IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY AWESOME
PROJECT.

The narrator says --AND THE INSPIRED HISTORIC
INNOVATIONS...

A woman inside an old turbine engine says LOOK AT THIS,
IT IS STILL UP AND RUNNING 40
YEARS AFTER!
THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE!

A woman in a race car says IT'S
INCREDIBLE TO SEE THIS CAR FLY
AROUND THIS TRACK.

The narrator says --THAT MADE THE IMPOSSIBLE
POSSIBLE.

The title slate appears. It looks like a piece of graphing paper full of equations and sketches of an airplane, skyscraper, and monorail. The title reads "Impossible Engineering."

The narrator says THE NORTH SEA, SEPARATING
BRITAIN FROM NORTHERN EUROPE,
ITS WATERS STRETCH OVER 750,000
SQUARE KILOMETRES.
IT'S A FAMOUSLY HOSTILE
ENVIRONMENT.
STORMS BRING 6 METRE WAVES,
WHIPPED UP BY 110 KILOMETRE AN
HOUR WINDS.
CHALLENGING CONDITIONS FOR ONE
OF THE WORLD'S BUSIEST SHIPPING
AREAS, WHOSE TRAFFIC MUST ALSO
NAVIGATE SHIFTING SANDBANKS.
IT SEEMS AN IMPOSSIBLE PLACE
TO BUILD, BUT THESE AWE
INSPIRING NATURAL FORCES ARE
IRRESISTIBLE TO A GROUP OF
INTREPID ENGINEERS.
AROUND 20 KILOMETRES OFF THE
BRITISH COAST, AN AMBITIOUS
PROJECT IS TAKING THESE WATERS
ON.

Graham is in his fifties, with short receding gray hair and wears safety gear and a life jacket.

Graham says IT'S A HOSTILE
ENVIRONMENT AND IT PRESENTS A
MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR ANY KIND OF
ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION.

The narrator says BUT THIS IS AN UNPRECEDENTED
ENGINEERING MARVEL.
THE LONDON ARRAY.

Ed is in his forties and wears glasses, protective gear and a hard hat.

Ed says THE LONDON ARRAY IS THE
WORLD'S LARGEST OFFSHORE
WINDFARM.

The narrator says 175 TOWERING TURBINES CAPTURE
THE ENERGY OF THE WIND AND
CONVERT IT IN TO RECORD
BREAKING LEVELS OF ELECTRICITY.

Nick says ON AN AVERAGE YEAR THE
WINDFARM PRODUCES OVER TWO
BILLION UNITS OF ELECTRICITY,
THAT'S ENOUGH TO POWER HALF A
MILLION UK HOUSES.

Nick is in his late forties, with short receding brown hair and wears a blue uniform.

The narrator says CAPTAIN NICK COVILL IS PART
OF THE TEAM MAKING THIS IMMENSE
WINDFARM A REALITY.

Nick says TO GIVE YOU SOME IDEA OF HOW
EPIC THIS IS, THE AREA OF
LONDON ARRAY IS A GREATER
SURFACE AREA THAN THE CITY OF
MANCHESTER.

The narrator says IT'S AN ARMY OF GIANT
SPINNING WINDMILLS THAT COVER
MORE THAN 100 SQUARE
KILOMETRES.

Ed says RIGHT NOW WE'RE ABOUT 87
METRES ABOVE SEA LEVEL.
YOU CAN SEE THE ROTOR BEHIND US.
SO, EACH BLADE LENGTH IS 58
METRES.
STANDING OUT ON THESE MACHINES
IT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU FEEL,
WHAT A UNIQUE PLACE TO BE.

The narrator says LONDON ARRAY'S TURBINES REACH
ALMOST 150 METRES ABOVE SEA
LEVEL.
EACH BLADE IS ALMOST AS LONG AS
A JUMBO JET'S WING SPAN.
EMBEDDED IN 650 TONNE
FOUNDATIONS, THEY FEED INTO
200 KILOMETRES OF CABLING.
TWO OFFSHORE SUBSTATIONS SEND
ALL THIS POWER TO THE MAINLAND,
WHERE IT PROVIDES ENOUGH
ELECTRICITY FOR 500,000 HOMES.
BUT ENGINEERING ON THIS SCALE
AT SEA HAS NEVER BEEN DONE
BEFORE, AND THIS UNPREDICTABLE
ENVIRONMENT THROWS UP HUGE
CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGES.

A caption reads "Ed Hall. Senior Asset Integrity Engineer."

Ed says IT'S A REALLY AMBITIOUS
PLAN TO BUILD A WINDFARM HERE.
IT'S QUITE TIDAL RESTRICTED.
THERE'S A LOT OF CHANGE IN TIDAL
HEIGHTS SO THERE'S VERY HIGH
CURRENTS, A LOT OF MOVING SAND
BANKS.

The narrator says THE BRUTAL MARINE ENVIRONMENT
ALSO TAKE ITS TOLL ON ANY
TECHNOLOGY.

The caption changes to "Nick Covill. Master, MPI Discovery."

Nick says IF A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT
FAILS, WE'RE WORKING TO A VERY,
VERY SMALL WEATHER WINDOW.
WE CAN'T NIP TO THE LOCAL
HARDWARE STORE AND GET ANOTHER
ONE.

The narrator says BUT ABOVE ALL, IN THE MIDDLE
OF ONE OF EUROPE'S MOST EXTREME
LOCATIONS, THESE TURBINES MUST
SOMEHOW GENERATE YEAR ROUND
POWER ON AN UNPARALLELED SCALE.

The caption changes to Graham Daws. Head of Asset Management and Operations, London Array Limited."

On a boat, Graham says WE NEED TO GENERATE
ELECTRICITY 24 HOURS A DAY,
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK IN THIS REMOTE
OFFSHORE LOCATION.
IT'S AN UNFORGIVING AND
UNPREDICTABLE ENVIRONMENT.

The narrator says OUT HERE THE CHALLENGES ARE
ENORMOUS, BUT THE TEAM MUST DO
WHATEVER THEY CAN TO KEEP THE
BLADES TURNING.
SO, HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO
HARNESS THE POWER OF THE WIND?
(TICKING)

The narrator says DR. ANDREW STEELE IS ON THE
WINDSWEPT COASTLINE OF SCOTLAND
SEARCHING FOR THE RELICS OF AN
IDEA THAT SPARKED AN
ENGINEERING REVOLUTION.

Andrew is in his thirties, with short wavy brown hair and a beard. He wears jeans and a burgundy sweater.

Andrew says THIS 18TH CENTURY
SALT MILL IS ONE OF SCOTLAND'S
BEST PRESERVED WINDMILLS.
THE PRINCIPLE BEHIND A WINDMILL
IS SIMPLE.
BY TAKING LINEAR MOTION FROM THE
WIND, SPINNING THOSE GIANT SAILS
AND CREATING A ROTARY MOTION.
YOU CAN THEN USE AXELS AND GEARS
TO TAKE THAT MOTION TO WHEREVER
YOU WANT TO USE THE ENERGY.

The narrator says THIS WINDMILL WOULD HAVE ONCE
HAD LARGE SAILS.
ITS ROTATION WAS USED TO PUMP
SEA WATER ONTO THE LAND FOR THE
PRODUCTION OF SALT.
IT WAS A TECHNOLOGY THAT HADN'T
CHANGED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
(GROANING)

An animation shows a Chinese man trying to figure out how to get water for his crops.

The narrator says SIMPLE HORIZONTAL AXEL
WINDMILLS WERE USED TO POWER
IRRIGATION PUMPS IN CHINA AS
EARLY AS 200 BC.
THE FIRST EVIDENCE OF A WIND
POWERED MACHINE IS A WIND WHEEL
ORGAN, DESIGNED BY ANCIENT
GREEK, HERO OF ALEXANDRIA.

In animation, the creator of the organ dances and cheers.

(CHEERING)

The narrator says AND IN PERSIA VERTICAL AXEL
WINDMILLS WITH REED SAILS WERE
COMMONPLACE, SOMETHING THAT IS
THOUGHT TO HAVE BEEN SPOTTED BY
EUROPEAN CRUSADERS.
(WHINNYING)

A crusader stops his horse in front of a vertical axel windmill and says OH.
(DINGING)

Andrew says IN THE 11TH CENTURY,
MIDDLE EASTERN FARMERS WERE
ALREADY USING SAIL DRIVEN MILLS
TO DRIVE MECHANISMS TO GRIND
CORN FOR FOOD AND IT WASN'T LONG
BEFORE CRUSADERS AND MERCHANTS
HAD BROUGHT THESE IDEAS BACK TO
EUROPE AND THE EUROPEANS ADOPTED
THEM TO BUILD WINDMILLS LIKE
THIS ONE.

The narrator says BUT AROUND THE TURN OF THE
19TH CENTURY, ONE MAN FELT WIND
POWER HAD A LOT MORE TO GIVE.
JUST LIKE TODAY'S ENGINEERS AT
THE LONDON ARRAY OFFSHORE WIND
FARM, SCOTTISH ENGINEER JAMES
BLYTH WAS DETERMINED TO
GENERATE ELECTRICITY FROM WIND
POWER, AND IN 1887 IN HIS BACK
GARDEN ON THE COAST HE BUILT
THE WORLD'S FIRST WIND TURBINE
TO POWER THE LIGHTS IN HIS
COTTAGE.
BUT IT'S SAID HIS NEIGHBOURS
WEREN'T IMPRESSED.
THEY CONSIDERED ELECTRICITY
THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.
ANDREW STEELE HOWEVER HAS
MANAGED TO TRACK DOWN A PLACE
THAT WELCOMED BLYTH'S
INNOVATION.

Andrew says ALTHOUGH BLYTH'S
DESIGN DIDN'T PROVE POPULAR WITH
THE LOCALS, HE DID MANAGE TO
FIND A NEW HOME FOR IT HERE AT
SUNNYSIDE HOSPITAL, OR, AS IT
WAS KNOWN THEN, MONTROSE LUNATIC
ASYLUM.

The narrator says WITH ELECTRICITY SUPPLIES IN
THIS ERA NOTORIOUSLY
UNRELIABLE, BLYTH PROPOSED
ADDING HIS NEW WIND TURBINE
INVENTION.

Andrew sits next to an old with half cylinders attached to a spinning circular metal disc and says TODAY ALL THAT'S LEFT IS THIS
BUILDING, BUT TO EXPLAIN THE
ENGINEERING PRINCIPLES BEHIND
IT, I'VE GOT THIS.
AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS THING IS
MADE UP OF A LOAD OF HALF
CYLINDERS AND THAT MEANS THEY
CATCH THE WIND LIKE A CUP.
AND AS THEY SPIN AROUND AND
AROUND THEY GET FASTER AND
FASTER AND THE AXEL GOES THROUGH
THIS BIG WHEEL, THROUGH THIS
BELT TO THIS SMALLER WHEEL,
WHERE IT'S CONNECTED INTO AN OLD
WASHING MACHINE MOTOR.
NOW, A MOTOR AND A GENERATOR ARE
BASICALLY REVERSIBLE.
IN A MOTOR YOU OBVIOUSLY PUT
IN ELECTRICITY AND GET OUT
MOTION, YOU CAN JUST WIRE THAT
BACKWARDS AND PUT IN MOTION AND
GET OUT ELECTRICITY, NOW THAT'S
EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS HERE, OUT
OF THIS CABLE.

The narrator says ANDREW IS USING A SLOT CAR
GAME TO DEMONSTRATE THE
TRANSFORMATION FROM KINETIC
WIND ENERGY TO ELECTRICITY.
BUT TODAY'S LIGHT WINDS CALL
FOR A BIT OF IMPROVISATION.
(WHIRRING)

He turns on a leaf blower to make the contraption spin.

He says OK, LET'S SEE WHAT THIS THING
CAN DO.
(WHIRRING)

The machine provides the energy for the toy car to go around the track.

Andrew says WELL, I THINK THAT'S A PRETTY
CLEAR VICTORY FOR RED AND WE
MADE IT WORK!

The narrator says BLYTH ATTACHED HIS GENERATOR
TO AN ACCUMULATOR, AN EARLY
FORM OF RECHARGEABLE BATTERY,
AND HIS INVENTION WAS AN
INSTANT HIT.

Andrew says BLYTHE'S DESIGN WAS SO
SUCCESSFUL THAT IT ACTUALLY
STOOD HERE AND POWERED MONTROSE
LUNATIC ASYLUM FOR 30 YEARS
BEFORE IT WAS DEMOLISHED.

(TICKING)

(music plays)

The narrator says LONDON ARRAY'S 175 TURBINES
ARE OVER 10 TIMES TALLER THAN
THE MONTROSE TURBINE.
REACHING 147 METRES FROM BASE
TO BLADE TIP.
WHILE BLYTH USED HORIZONTALLY
ROTATING CYLINDERS, THE ARRAY
USES 58 METRE LONG VERTICAL
BLADES TO SQUEEZE AS MUCH
ELECTRICITY AS POSSIBLE OUT OF
THE NORTH SEA'S POWERFUL WINDS.
THE VITAL JOB OF ENSURING THE
TURBINES REMAIN OPERATIONAL
FALLS TO A SPECIALIST TEAM OF
ENGINEERS.
WHEN THEY'RE CALLED INTO ACTION
THEY MUST FIRST MAKE THE OVER
20 KILOMETRE JOURNEY OUT TO
SEA.

Graham says WE HAVE 175 OFFSHORE
POWER GENERATION PLANTS, SO WE
NEED TO SEND PEOPLE OFFSHORE TO
KEEP ALL OF THE TURBINES RUNNING
ALL OF THE TIME.
IT'S QUITE AN EXTREME JOB.
THE GUYS HAVE TO BE TOUGH, AND
THEY HAVE TO BE CAPABLE OF
MEETING PHYSICAL DEMANDS.

The narrator says THEY HAVE EXTRAORDINARY
ACCESS TO THE HIDDEN INNER
WORKINGS OF THESE INCREDIBLE
STRUCTURES.
TODAY SENIOR OPERATIONS
TECHNICIAN RONNIE HILL MUST
CARRY OUT ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE
TO THE TURBINE KNOWN AS ECHO
ONE NINE.

Ronnie says HI, ROB, IT'S ECHO ONE NINE.
COULD I TAKE CONTROL PLEASE ON
AWP 013?

Over the radio, Rob says THAT'S COPY 013.
THERE'S NO RESTRICTIONS.

The narrator says BEFORE WORK CAN
BEGIN HE MUST ACCESS A CONTROL
PANEL ON THE LOWER PLATFORM TO
BRING THE BLADES TO A
STANDSTILL.

Ronnie says SO, YOU CAN ALREADY HEAR
ALREADY IT'S STARTING TO SLOW
DOWN.
THERE WE GO.

The narrator says EACH GIANT TOWER CONTAINS AN
ELEVATOR TO ASSIST TEAM MEMBERS
LIKE SENIOR ENGINEER ED HALL
WITH AT LEAST SOME OF THE 70
METRE ASCENT.

Ed says SO, THAT'S THE LIFT PART OF
THE JOURNEY OVER.
IT'S QUITE A CHALLENGE JUST TO
GET IN ACCESS TO THE POINT OF
WORK.
YEAH, NOW WE'VE GOT TO CLIMB UP.

The narrator says THE HEART OF THE TURBINE IS
KNOWN AS THE NACELLE.
A 10 METRE LONG STAINLESS STEEL
ENCLOSURE, THE NACELLE HOUSES
THE MACHINERY NEEDED TO PRODUCE
ELECTRICITY FROM THE BLADES.

Ed says NOT MANY PEOPLE GET TO
SEE THIS PART, IT'S VERY UNIQUE.
THIS IS THE NACELLE OF THE
TURBINE, WHERE ALL THE ACTION
HAPPENS, SO THIS IS WHERE THE
POWER IS GETTING GENERATED AND
TRANSMITTED.
WE HAVE THE ROTOR AT THE FRONT
WITH THE BLADES SO THAT
ROTATIONAL ENERGY IS
TRANSFERRED THROUGH A GEARBOX
AND BEHIND ME WE HAVE THE
GENERATOR WHERE THE ELECTRICAL
ENERGY IS PRODUCED.

The narrator says THE ENERGY FROM THE TURBINE'S
BLADES CAN PRODUCE ELECTRICITY
IN AS LITTLE AS 12 KILOMETRE
PER HOUR WINDS.
THE TURBINE BLADES ROTATE AN
INPUT SHAFT AT UP TO 13
REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE.
A GEARBOX MAKES THE OUTPUT
SHAFT SPIN MORE THAN 100 TIMES
FASTER.
A GENERATOR THEN CONVERTS THIS
INCREASED KINETIC ENERGY TO
ELECTRICITY.

Ronnie says SO, THE TASK WE'RE GIVEN
TODAY IS LUBRICATING THE MAIN
BEARING, ACTUALLY LIKE THE
BEARINGS IN YOUR CAR, OVER TIME
THEY WEAR OUT.
THE MORE WE LUBRICATE THEM THE
LONGER THEY KEEP GOING, THE
MORE POWER WE CAN PRODUCE IS
WHAT WE'RE HERE TO DO AT THE
END OF THE DAY.
THERE WE GO.
THESE MACHINES THEY DON'T STOP.
SUMMER, WINTER, CHRISTMAS,
CHRISTMAS DAY, THEY'VE STILL GOT
TO RUN, WE STILL NEED
ELECTRICITY.

The narrator says CONSTRUCTING JUST ONE OF
THESE MEGASTRUCTURES IS A HUGE
ENGINEERING CHALLENGE.
SO, HOW DO YOU MAKE 175 OF THEM
WHEN YOUR BUILDING SITE IS THE
NORTH SEA?

Nick says NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE
CHALLENGING SEABED CONDITIONS,
YOU ALSO HAVE DIFFERENT DEPTHS.
IT'S A CHALLENGE FROM START TO
FINISH.

The narrator says THESE 175 TURBINES MAKE UP
THE WORLD'S LARGEST OFFSHORE
WINDFARM, THE LONDON ARRAY.
FOR HEAD OF OPERATIONS, GRAHAM
DAWS, IT'S A PERFECT LOCATION
FOR A BUMPER HARVEST.

Graham says AROUND THE COAST OF
THE UK WE HAVE MORE WIND ENERGY
THAN PRETTY MUCH THE WHOLE OF
THE REST OF EUROPE.

The narrator says SPANNING AN AREA OF 100
SQUARE KILOMETRES, THESE 150
METRE HIGH TURBINES ARE KEPT
OPERATIONAL 24 HOURS A DAY,
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK TO PRODUCE
2.5 BILLION UNITS OF
ELECTRICITY A YEAR.
EACH OF THESE MASSIVE MARVELS
IS MADE UP OF MAMMOTH
COMPONENTS.

Nick says THE TOWER ITSELF IN TWO
PARTS WEIGH AROUND 200 TONNES
EACH.
THREE BLADES PER TURBINE, EACH
ONE OF THOSE BLADES IS AROUND
ABOUT 25 OR 30 TONNES EACH, AND
THE NACELLE, THE PART THAT
GOES ON TOP OF THE WIND TURBINE,
THEY CAN BE UP TO 300 TONNES.

The narrator says BUT CONSTRUCTING THIS ARMY OF
GIANTS IN THE UNFORGIVING NORTH
SEA IS THE BIGGEST BATTLE OF
ALL.

Graham says THE WEATHER
CONDITIONS CAN BE VERY VARIABLE.
WE CAN HAVE MIST AND FOG AS WE
HAVE TODAY.
YOU CAN HAVE NICE FLAT CALM
SEAS, AND YOU CAN ALSO HAVE
STORM FORCE CONDITIONS ROLLING
IN WITHOUT WARNING.
CONSTRUCTING THE WIND FARM IS A
CHALLENGE.

Nick says IT'S A SIGNIFICANT
OPERATION TO INSTALL ONE OF
THESE TURBINES.
FAST FLOWING TIDES, THE NATURE
OF THE SEABED IS EXTREMELY
VARIABLE SO EVEN IN ONE
LOCATION, WE CAN GET A
DIFFERENCE OF UP TO 10 METRES
THE CHANGE IS VERY, VERY EXTREME
IN A VERY, VERY SMALL AREA.
IT'S A CHALLENGE FROM START TO
FINISH.

The narrator SO, HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO
CREATE A STABLE STRUCTURE WHEN
YOUR BUILDING SITE IS
UNDERWATER?
(TICKING)

In animation, a lighthouse engineer manages the construction and says LEFT A BIT.
RIGHT A BIT.

The narrator says 17TH CENTURY ENGLISH
LIGHTHOUSE ENGINEERS DISCOVERED
THAT WOODEN STRUCTURES WERE A
FLOP.

The lighthouse collapses.

An Irish workers pushing a wheel of pain says HEAVE!

says THE IRISH CAME UP WITH THE
SCREW PILE LIGHTHOUSE WITH LONG
SCREWS INSERTED INTO THE
SEABED.
THIS OFFERED A SOLUTION, BUT
ONLY IN THE SHALLOWS.

The workers drown and say HEAVE.

The narrator says THE SCOTS VENTURED FURTHER
OFFSHORE, BUILDING ONE OF THE
FIRST MASONRY LIGHTHOUSES AT
BELL ROCK.
(CHATTERING)

The narrator says HOWEVER, WITH THE OUTCROP
ONLY ABOVE WATER FOR TWO HOURS
A DAY IT TOOK FOUR YEARS TO
COMPLETE!

A Scottish sailor says ABOUT TIME!

(music plays)

The narrator says ARROMANCHES, IN NORTHERN
FRANCE IS THE SITE OF AN
HISTORIC MARINE CONSTRUCTION
BREAKTHROUGH.
TODAY, DR. RHYS MORGAN IS
JOINING A TEAM OF DIVERS WHO
ARE TRACKING DOWN AN
ENGINEERING RELIC.

Rhys is in his forties, with short receding brown hair and wears a gray sweater and a life vest.

He says THIS COASTLINE IS THE SITE
OF SOME OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE
SECOND WORLD WAR ENGINEERING,
AND WE'RE ON THE HUNT FOR
PERHAPS ITS MOST INGENIOUS
COMPONENT.

The narrator says LURKING IN THE DEPTHS SINCE
THE 1940S LIES A GAME-CHANGING
INNOVATION THAT INFLUENCED
COUNTLESS FUTURE ENGINEERS LIKE
THE TEAM AT LONDON ARRAY.

Rhys looks at a monitor and says OH, DOES THAT LOOK LIKE
IT?
YEAH THERE'S A STRUCTURE THERE,
IS THAT RIGHT?

A team member says YEAH I THINK YOU CAN
DEFINITELY SEE IT COMING UP ON
THE EDGE OF THE SCREEN.

A diver says READY AND GO!

Two divers jump in the water.

The narrator says DURING 1944, THE D-DAY
LANDINGS GAVE THE ALLIES A
TOE-HOLD IN EUROPE, BUT THIS
WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.
TO FREE THE NAZI OCCUPIED
CONTINENT, THEY FACED THE
PROBLEM OF LANDING ENORMOUS
QUANTITIES OF EQUIPMENT ON THE
NORMANDY COAST.

Rhys says TO TAKE ON THE MIGHTY GERMAN
ARMY, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
TROOPS AND THEIR VEHICLES HAD
TO BE LANDED ON THE BEACHES
BEHIND ME.

The narrator says BRITISH ENGINEER SIR BRUCE
GORDON WHITE HAD TO CARRY OUT
AN ASTONISHING PLAN.
CONSTRUCT TWO FULLY FUNCTIONING
HARBOURS IN A MATTER OF TWO
DAYS, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN
IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT A
BRILLIANTLY SIMPLE PIECE OF
ENGINEERING CALLED A SPUD LEG.

A man says THERE IT IS.

Rhys says AH, LOOK!

The man says THERE'S THE EDGE OF IT.
IT'S DEFINITELY GOT AN UPRIGHT.
ONE SPUD LEG.

Rhys says FANTASTIC!
WE'VE ACTUALLY FOUND ONE OF THE
ORIGINAL SPUD LEGS ON THE
SEABED.
IT'S INCREDIBLE TO THINK THAT
THESE NOW DISCARDED PIECES
OF METAL WERE ONCE VITAL FOR
ENDING A TERRIBLE WAR.

The narrator says THE SPUD LEGS WERE THE VITAL
COMPONENT THAT MADE SIR BRUCE
GORDON WHITE'S FAMOUS MULBERRY
HARBOURS POSSIBLE.

On the beach, Rhys says THESE BIG CONCRETE
BLOCKS BEHIND ME WERE FLOATING
PONTOONS ON WHICH A STEEL
ROADWAY LED OUT FROM THE BEACH
TO THE DEEPER WATER SO THAT THE
SHIPS COULD UNLOAD THEIR TANKS
AND THEY COULD DRIVE RIGHT ON TO
THE BEACH.
CREATING A FLOATING PIER IS ONE
THING, BUT ANCHORING IT SECURELY
IN TIDAL WATERS AND MAKING SURE
IT'S STABLE ENOUGH TO CARRY A
TANK IS A WHOLE OTHER BALL GAME.

The narrator says THE ENGINEERS BUILDING THE
LONDON ARRAY NEED A SOLID
STABLE PLATFORM TO WORK FROM.
GORDON WHITE NEEDED SIMILAR IN
ORDER TO SAFELY LAND TRUCKS AND
TANKS.

Rhys demonstrates with a platform floating on the water says THIS SIMPLE PLATFORM
ILLUSTRATES THE PROBLEM.
IN NORMAL CONDITIONS, IT'S FINE
BUT IF YOU'VE GOT ROUGH SEAS
THEN ACTUALLY IT'S VERY
UNSTABLE.
IT WILL SWING VIOLENTLY FROM
SIDE TO SIDE AND POTENTIALLY
DAMAGING THE ROADWAY.
SO, IT NEEDS TO BE ANCHORED.
NOW THE PROBLEM IS, IF YOU HAVE
A FIXED ANCHOR AS THE TIDE
COMES UP THE PLATFORM ITSELF
STARTS TO SINK.

The narrator says SURVIVING THE SEAS REQUIRED A
SPECIAL SOLUTION, AND THE
ANSWER WAS MOVEABLE MECHANICAL
LEGS WHICH ALLOW THE PONTOON TO
GO UP AND DOWN.

Rhys says THESE 4 LEGS HELP THE
PLATFORM REMAIN STABLE.
THEY WEREN'T DRIVEN IN TO THE
GROUND BUT RATHER THE ENDS JUST
SAT ON THE SURFACE OF THE
SEABED.
NOW, THE WEIGHT OF THE PLATFORM
CONNECTED BY THESE CHAINS IS
FORCING THE LEGS DOWN AND THAT
ACTS AS AN ANCHOR.
NOT ONLY DID THE LEGS PREVENT
THE PLATFORM MOVING FROM SIDE TO
SIDE BUT THE TENSION IN THE
CABLE COULD ALSO BE ADJUSTED TO
RISE AND LOWER WITH THE HEIGHT
OF THE TIDE.
JUST A BRILLIANT IDEA.

(music plays)

The narrator says THANKS TO INVENTIVE
ENGINEERING, OVER TWO MILLION
MEN WERE LANDED ALONGSIDE
500,000 VEHICLES AND 4 MILLION
TONS OF GOODS.
THE REMAINS OF THIS REMARKABLE
INVENTION MAY BE HIDDEN IN
THESE FRENCH WATERS, BUT IT HAS
INSPIRED ENGINEERS AROUND THE
WORLD.
THE SPUDS WERE AN INGENIOUS
SOLUTION FOR NORMANDY'S SHORES,
BUT HOW COULD MOVEABLE LEGS BE
USED TO CONSTRUCT A WINDFARM IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE NORTH SEA?
THE ANSWER LIES IN AN
EXTRAORDINARY VESSEL.

Nick says THIS IS
MPI DISCOVERY.
20,000 TONNES OF HYDRAULIC
MUSCLE.
AT THE TIME OF LONDON ARRAY, SHE
WAS THE FASTEST, HAD THE HIGHEST
LIFT, HAD THE FASTEST TURNOVER
RATE IN THE WORLD.
THIS SHIP IS ABLE TO LIFT 6,000
TONNES WHICH IS THE EQUIVALENT
OF 86 INTERCITY 125 LOCOMOTIVES.
6,800 FIAT 500 CARS.
THESE SHIPS WERE PRETTY MUCH
DESIGNED WITH THE LONDON ARRAY
PROJECT IN MIND.

The narrator says DISCOVERY
CAN CONSTRUCT THE
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE THANKS TO
A MIND-BLOWING METAMORPHOSIS.
FROM SHIP TO OFFSHORE BUILDING
PLATFORM IN A MATTER OF HOURS.
EXPERIENCING THIS JACK-UP SHIP
IN ACTION IS A UNIQUE
EXPERIENCE FOR CAPTAIN NICK
COVILL.

Nick says WHEN YOU'RE SLIGHTLY
PITCHING AND ROLLING AS YOU DO
AT SEA, TO THE LEGS TAKING THE
SEABED, EVERYTHING STOPS AND YOU
BECOME A PLATFORM.
FOR A MARINER, IT'S AN EXTREME
SITUATION IF YOU FIND YOU'RE
PUTTING YOUR OWN VESSEL AGROUND,
HOWEVER, THIS IS OUR JOB.

The narrator says LIKE A SUPERSIZED VERSION OF
BRUCE GORDON WHITE'S SOLUTION
FOR THE NORMANDY INVASION,
MPI
DISCOVERY
USES GIANT LEGS TO
ACT LIKE A TABLE SITTING ON THE
SEA BED.

Nick says DISCOVERY
ITSELF HAS
SIX LEGS.
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE KEEL TO
THE TOP OF THE LEG IS ABOUT 75
METRES.
YOU CAN SEE HERE THEY'RE
PROBABLY ABOUT FOUR, FIVE
INCHES OF STEEL.
ALSO, YOU CAN SEE HERE BY THE
BARNACLES, THAT THIS PART OF THE
LEG WILL BE VERY MUCH
UNDERWATER, DRIVEN INTO THE
SEABED.

The narrator says THE BRITISH ARMY'S SPUD LEGS
WERE WINCHED, BUT
DISCOVERY'S
RELY ON HYDRAULICS.
EACH LEG IS JACKED UP BY EIGHT
HUGE CYLINDERS, WITH EVERY
VERTICAL MOVEMENT SECURED BY A
MASSIVE PINNING SYSTEM.

Nick says EACH ONE OF THESE CYLINDERS
IS CAPABLE OF LIFTING 500
TONNES.
YOU HAVE TWO CYLINDERS HERE THAT
GO TO A SINGLE YOLK AND YOU HAVE
A PIN THAT WITHDRAWS, THE YOLK
COMES DOWN, THE PIN GOES IN, AND
THEN THE LEG IS EITHER RAISED OR
LOWERED DEPENDING ON WHETHER
WE'RE RECOVERING THE LEGS OR
DRIVING THEM INTO THE SEABED.
THE SYSTEM HERE IS CAPABLE OF
LIFTING 24,000 TONNES OF SHIP,
ALL THE COMPONENTS FOR EIGHT
TURBINES COMPLETELY CLEAR OF THE
WATER.

The narrator says THIS SHIP CAN STAND SOLID IN
DEPTHS OF UP TO 40 METRES, BUT
IN ORDER TO ASSEMBLE THE
COMPONENT PARTS FOR THE WIND
TURBINES IT NEEDS EVEN MORE
MUSCLE.

Nick says SO, HERE WE HAVE A 1000 TONNE
CRANE, A UNIQUE PIECE OF
EQUIPMENT.
THERE WAS NO OTHER CRANE
AVAILABLE THAT WAS SO COMPACT,
THAT HAD SUCH A LIFTING
CAPACITY.

The narrator says THIS MEGA MACHINE CAN
ASSEMBLE THE SUPERSTRUCTURE OF
AN ENTIRE TURBINE.
FIRST A HYDRAULIC HAMMER IS
USED TO DRIVE A GIANT 5.7 METER
DIAMETER STEEL TUBE WHICH CAN
WEIGH UP TO 650 FIFTY TONNES TO
DEPTHS OF UP TO 68 METERS BELOW
THE SEA BED.
THIS HOLDS IN PLACE A YELLOW
TRANSITION PIECE WHICH CAN BE
UP TO 28 METRES HIGH.
NEXT, THE MAIN TOWER IS ADDED.
TOPPED OFF BY THE NACELLE AND
HUB.
THREE 58-METRE LONG BLADES
COMPLETE EACH 480 TONNE
STRUCTURE.
AMAZINGLY, EIGHT TURBINES CAN
BE TRANSPORTED AND BUILT ON A
SINGLE VOYAGE.

Nick says SO, THE REASON THAT WE
HAVE SUCH A VAST DECK SPACE IS
BASICALLY BECAUSE OF THE SIZE OF
THE WIND TURBINE COMPONENTS.
THE NACELLES ARE THE SIZE OF TWO
OR THREE DOUBLE DECKER BUSES.
WE HAVE EIGHT OF THEM IN THE
CENTRE OF THE SHIP, THE BLADES
RUN ACROSS THE VESSEL GOING
ACTUALLY OVER THE SIDE BY ABOUT
30 METRES.
MY FIRST DAY AS CAPTAIN, THE
LONDON ARRAY TEAM TOLD ME THAT I
MUST NOT ROLL THE SHIP MORE THAN
A CERTAIN AMOUNT OTHERWISE THE
BLADES WOULD GO IN THE WATER AND
GET DAMAGED, AND I WAS THINKING
TO MYSELF, "WHAT HAVE I LET
MYSELF IN FOR HERE, REALLY?"

The narrator says THE LONDON ARRAY RELIES ON
THE NORTH SEA WINDS, BUT NATURE
HAS A HABIT OF BITING BACK.

Graham says WE ENCOUNTER ALL
SORTS OF WEATHER, FROM ROUGH
SEAS, TO HIGH WINDS, TO EXTREME
HAIL STONES AND RAIN.

The narrator says IF THESE IMPOSSIBLE WIND
TURBINES ARE TO SURVIVE,
ENGINEERS MUST FIND A WAY TO
PROTECT THEM FROM THE VERY
ELEMENTS THEY'RE TRYING TO
HARNESS.

(music plays)

The narrator says QUIETLY REVOLVING TO PRODUCE
IMMENSE POWER.
20 KILOMETRES OFF THE COAST OF
BRITAIN, 175 GENTLE GIANTS MAKE
UP A WIND FARM OF EPIC
PROPORTIONS.

Nick says THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF
THE TURBINE WITH THE BLADES ON
IS ABOUT THE SAME AS THE LONDON
EYE.
IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY AWESOME
PROJECT.

The narrator says BUT THE WIND TURBINES
THEMSELVES ARE JUST THE START
OF THIS IMPOSSIBLE ENGINEERING
FEAT.
EACH TURBINE FORMS PART OF A
TWO-HUNDRED KILOMETRE NETWORK,
CONVERGING AT ONE OF THE TWO
GIGANTIC OFFSHORE SUBSTATIONS.
THESE PERFORM A VITAL ROLE,
BOOSTING THE VOLTAGE PRODUCED
BY THE TURBINES BEFORE SENDING
IT TO THE MAINLAND.

Graham says SO, THERE BEHIND ME YOU CAN
SEE ONE OF THE TWO LONDON ARRAY
SUBSTATIONS.
THESE STRUCTURES ARE CRITICAL TO
THE OPERATION OF THE LONDON
ARRAY, ALL OF THE ENERGY THAT'S
PRODUCED PASSES THROUGH ONE OF
THESE TWO SUBSTATIONS.
THEY PERFORM A CRITICAL FUNCTION
IN INCREASING THE VOLTAGE FROM
33,000 VOLTS TO 150,000 VOLTS IN
ORDER TO MINIMISE THE LOSSES AS
THE ENERGY TRANSITIONS ON ITS
LONG JOURNEY BACK ASHORE.

The narrator says FOUR HUGE CABLES OVER FIFTY
KILOMETRES LONG ARE NEEDED TO
COMPLETE THIS FINAL LEG.
EACH WEIGHING 4,500 TONNES,
THEY ARE FLOATED TOWARDS THE
KENT COASTLINE, AND THEN SUNK
TO THE SEABED AS THEY FINALLY
CONVERGE AT CLEVE HILL ONSHORE
SUBSTATION.

Graham says SO, THIS PLACE IS REALLY
INTERESTING.
THIS IS WHERE THE 630 MEGAWATTS
OF ENERGY PRODUCED BY THE
LONDON ARRAY OFFSHORE WINDFARM
OUT THERE COMES ASHORE ON THE
NORTH KENT COAST.
THE FOUR LARGE CABLES COME
THROUGH THIS FIELD AND THEN
JOINS THE UK NATIONAL GRID.
YOU CAN SEE THE PYLONS EXTENDING
OFF IN BOTH DIRECTIONS AND THIS
IS WHERE WE BREAK IN TO IT AND
ADD OUR ENERGY TO THE BACKBONE
OF THE UK ELECTRICAL SUPPLY
DISTRIBUTION NETWORK.

The narrator says HARNESSING THE ELEMENTS TO
CREATE COLOSSAL AMOUNTS OF
ELECTRICITY IS AN ENGINEERING
TRIUMPH, BUT THERE IS SUCH A
THING AS TOO MUCH WIND.
THE TURBINES MUST BE ABLE TO
STAND UP TO A BATTERING FROM
THE BRUTAL STORMS THAT AFFLICT
THIS DANGEROUS SEA.

Graham says OUR TURBINES ARE 12
MILES OUT AT SEA.
WE ENCOUNTER ALL SORTS OF
WEATHER FROM ROUGH SEAS, TO
HIGH WINDS, TO EXTREME HAIL
STONES AND RAIN.
THE TURBINES CAN OPERATE QUITE
SAFELY IN WIND SPEEDS OF UP TO
50 MILES AN HOUR.
BEYOND 50 MILES AN HOUR THE
TURBINE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO
PROTECT ITSELF.
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT THE
TEAM WHO DESIGN THE TURBINES
HAD TO OVERCOME WAS FINDING WAYS
OF BEING ABLE TO ALLOW THE
TURBINE TO PROTECT ITSELF IN
EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS.

The narrator says SO, WHEN THE EXTREME WEATHER
HITS, AND WIND SPEEDS REACH THE
80 KILOMETRE AN HOUR MARK,
EXPOSED TO THE ELEMENTS, HOW
CAN THESE VITAL MEGA MACHINES
SURVIVE?

(TICKING)

(music plays)

The narrator says DEEP IN THE DANISH COUNTRYSIDE
IS AN EXTRAORDINARY STRUCTURE
THAT DR. TUHFE GOCMEN IS
SCALING, AND IT MIGHT HOLD THE
KEY FOR THE LONDON ARRAY.

Tuhfe is in her thirties, with mid-length brown hair with mint green streaks on the front and wears jeans, a black top and a hard hat.

Tuhfe climbs up a turbine tower and says IT'S SUPER IMPRESSIVE.
THIS IS REALLY EXCITING.
SO, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I'M
GOING TO START UP A TURBINE.
SO, WE RELEASED IT.
RIGHT.
THEN WE ARE GOING TO TURN THIS
ON.
WOW, LOOK AT THIS!
IT IS STILL UP AND RUNNING 40
YEARS AFTER.
THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE!
I'M 54 METRES OFF THE GROUND
RIGHT NOW AND THIS TWO MEGAWATT
DESIGNED MACHINE HAS BEEN
OPERATING AT THIS VERY SPOT FOR
THE PASSING 40 YEARS!
THAT IS BY FAR THE LONGEST
OPERATIONAL TIME FOR ANY WIND
TURBINES IN THE WORLD, AND IT
HAS A BEAUTIFUL VIEW.

The narrator says IN 1978, THE GIANT TVINDKRAFT
DWARFED ALL WIND TURBINES
BEFORE IT.
TO DATE ITS 27 METRE LONG
BLADES HAVE COMPLETED OVER 120
MILLION REVOLUTIONS.

Tuhfe says IT HAS PRODUCED MORE THAN
21,000,000 KILOWATT HOURS.
TO PUT THAT IN TO PERSPECTIVE
THAT KIND OF PRODUCTION COULD
POWER UP THE ENTIRE NEW YORK
CITY FOR MORE THAN THREE YEARS.

The narrator says ITS SCALE IS ASTOUNDING, BUT
HOW IT CAME ABOUT IS EVEN
MORE INCREDIBLE.
IN THE 1970S THE WORLD WAS
GRIPPED BY AN OIL CRISIS.
DENMARK WAS NO EXCEPTION.
SO, A GROUP OF RADICAL TEACHERS
SET UP A COLLECTIVE, PROMOTING
THE COUNTRY'S STRONG WINDS AS A
VIABLE ENERGY ALTERNATIVE.
ON A FARMLAND PLOT CALLED
TVIND, THEY MOBILISED HUNDREDS
OF VOLUNTEERS, BUILDING THE
SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE WITH
LITTLE FINANCIAL BACKING.

Tuhfe says WHAT I REALLY LOVE
ABOUT THE TVINDKRAFT TURBINE IS
HOW MANY SECOND-HAND COMPONENTS
YOU CAN FIND HERE IN THE
NACELLE.
FOR EXAMPLE THIS MAIN DRIVE
SHAFT OVER HERE IS FROM AN OIL
TANKER AND THIS GEAR BOX RIGHT
HERE IS FROM A COPPER MINE AND
THE GENERATOR IS FROM A PAPER
FACTORY FROM SWEDEN.

The narrator says BUT AS AT THE LONDON ARRAY,
THE SHEER SCALE OF TVINDKRAFT
POSED ENORMOUS CHALLENGES.
NO MANUFACTURER COULD BE FOUND
TO CONSTRUCT THE 27 METRE
BLADES, SO THE COLLECTIVE TOOK
MATTERS IN TO THEIR OWN HANDS,
BREAKING THE MOULD OF BLADE
DESIGN.

Tuhfe says THEY ARE NOT MADE OF METAL
WHICH WAS POPULAR AT THE TIME
BUT THEY ARE MADE OF GLASS
FIBRES WHICH GIVE THEM A LOT OF
FLEXIBILITY.

The narrator says DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND A
HURRICANE, THE MASSIVE BLADES
CAN FLEX 1.5 METRES IN EITHER
DIRECTION.
BUT THIS ROTOR HAS ANOTHER
INGENIOUS WAY OF DEALING WITH
WIND.

Tuhfe says ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT
INNOVATION OF TVINDKRAFT IS
ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO PITCH THE
BLADES.

The narrator says TO MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY,
PITCHING ORIENTATES
TVINDKRAFT'S BLADES AT VARIOUS
ANGLES TO THE WIND.

Tuhfe says I HAVE THIS LITTLE VERSION OF
TVINDKRAFT WITH ME HERE.
WE HAVE THE BLADES PITCHED TO
THE ULTIMATE EFFICIENCY POSITION
ALREADY WE WILL GIVE IT SOME
STEADY WIND... ..AND THEN GET A READING OUT OF
THAT.
SO, RIGHT NOW MY LITTLE TVIND
IS PRODUCING ABOUT 0.15 WATTS.

The narrator says BUT IF THE ANGLE OF THE
BLADES IS TURNED TO A LESS
EFFICIENT POSITION...

Tuhfe says WE ARE ACTUALLY ADJUSTING
THEM APPROXIMATELY HALF THE WAY.
WE CAN ALREADY SEE THAT IT'S
ROTATING A LOT SLOWER AND THE
READING I HAVE IS AROUND 0.7.

The narrator says BUT PITCHING CAN HAVE AN
EVEN MORE DRAMATIC EFFECT.

Tuhfe says I AM CHANGING THEIR ANGLE SO
THEY WILL ALMOST FACE THE WIND
ALMOST ENTIRELY, ELIMINATING THE
LIFT THAT IS CREATED BY THE
TURBINE BLADES, AND WHEN I TAKE
MY HANDS OFF, NO MORE ROTATION.

The narrator says THE TVINDKRAFT COLLECTIVE HAD
ENGINEERED A TRULY ADAPTABLE
TURBINE THAT COULD SAFELY
SURVIVE A STORM AND MAXIMISE
ENERGY IN A STEADY BREEZE.
FROM THESE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS,
IT WOULDN'T BE LONG BEFORE THE
COMMERCIAL WORLD TOOK NOTICE.
IN THE 1980S AROUND 700 DANISH
BUILT TURBINES WERE ORDERED FOR
A SITE IN CALIFORNIA THAT WOULD
EVENTUALLY BECOME THE WORLD
FAMOUS TEHACHAPI PASS WIND FARM
AND SPELL THE START OF THE
CALIFORNIAN WIND-RUSH.
(TICKING)

(music plays)

The narrator says AT 58 METRES LONG, THE BLADES
OF LONDON ARRAY'S TURBINES ARE
TWICE THE SIZE OF TVINDKRAFT'S
BUT INCREDIBLY, THEY'RE ABLE TO
MANOEUVRE IN THE SAME WAY.
ENGINEER ED HALL HAS SPECIAL
ACCESS TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK.

Ed says THE BLADES ON THESE WIND
TURBINES CAN PITCH.
THE ADVANTAGE OF PITCHING THE
BLADES IS TO ALLOW VARIABLE
SPEED PRODUCTION.
A GREATER AMOUNT OF ENERGY CAN
BE CAPTURED AT LOW WIND SPEEDS
AND IN TERMS OF ALSO PROVIDING A
SAFETY FUNCTION FOR STOPPING AS
WELL, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE
PITCH SYSTEM CAN PITCH THE
BLADES OUT QUICKLY IF THE
TURBINE NEEDS TO STOP.

The narrator says THESE INTELLIGENT BLADES
ARE EVEN ABLE TO ANGLE TO THE
OPTIMUM POSITION AUTOMATICALLY
THANKS TO A CLEVER ON-BOARD
COMPUTER WHICH OPERATES A
SYSTEM OF HYDRAULICS.

Ed says ONE OF THE SPECIAL THINGS
WE CAN DO IS CHANGE THE PITCH
ANGLE RIGHT NOW FOR WORKING ON
DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE BLADE.
SO, AS YOU CAN SEE THE PITCH
ANGLE MOVES RELATIVELY QUICKLY.
ALL THE BLADES CAN MOVE
INDEPENDENTLY, CONTINUALLY
CHANGING THE ANGLE TO OPTIMISE
ITSELF FOR THE WIND CONDITIONS
PRESENT.

The narrator says THE BLADES THEMSELVES ARE
MOULDED FROM A SINGLE PIECE OF
FIBREGLASS, MAKING THEM
LIGHTWEIGHT BUT SUPER-STRONG.
THE CIRCULAR BASE OF EACH ONE
IS BOLTED ONTO ONE OF THREE
CONNECTION POINTS ON THE NOSE
OF THE TURBINE.
A THREE-METRE HIGH FIBREGLASS
DOME KNOWN AS THE HUB.

Ed says SO, RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN
THE HUB OF THE TURBINE.
SO, THIS IS RIGHT AT THE FRONT
OF THE MACHINE BETWEEN THE
BLADES AND 90M ABOVE SEA LEVEL.
HERE WE CAN SEE THE THREE BLADES
BOLTED ON HERE, HERE, AND HERE.
THE BENEFIT TO HAVING A SINGLE
PIECE DESIGN IS SO THERE'S NO
JOINTED CONNECTIONS, WHICH HAVE
HISTORICALLY IN THE INDUSTRY
BEEN THE WEAKEST POINT OF BLADES
AND THEIR DESIGN.
SO, TO HAVE IT MOULDED IN A
SINGLE PIECE IS REALLY KEY IN,
YEAH, THE TECHNOLOGY
DEVELOPMENT.
INSIDE THE BLADE IS ACTUALLY
HOLLOW YOU CAN GET INSIDE AND
MOVE ALONG IT AND WALK INSIDE
IT, IT'S THAT LARGE.
THIS IS THE EVOLUTION OF A
NUMBER OF YEARS, UP TO 30 YEARS
OF DEVELOPMENT OF WIND TURBINE
BLADE DESIGN.

The narrator says LONDON ARRAY IS SO EFFICIENT,
ITS ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE
REDUCTION OF CO2 EMISSIONS IS
THE EQUIVALENT TO TAKING AROUND
290,000 CARS OFF THE ROAD.
BUT WITH THE PRESSURE ON TO
PRODUCE EVEN MORE POWER, HOW
CAN ENGINEERS HERE TAKE IT TO
THE MAX?

Ed says WIND IS A FREE FUEL, SO
IT'S ALL ABOUT GETTING THE MOST
OUT OF IT THAT YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

The narrator says IT'S IMPOSSIBLE ENGINEERING
IN THE EXTREME.
SO, CAN THEY RISE TO THE
CHALLENGE?

(music plays)

The narrator says IN 2013, THE VAST LONDON ARRAY
ROSE OUT OF THE NORTH SEA,
DELIVERING MORE ENERGY IN A
SINGLE MONTH THAN ANY OFFSHORE
FARM BEFORE IT.

Ed says NOTHING ON THIS SCALE HAD
BEEN DONE BEFORE SO IT WAS A
REAL STEP CHANGE IN TERMS OF THE
REAL SIZE AND CAPACITY AND THE
CHALLENGES FACED.

The narrator says SPREAD OVER 100 SQUARE
KILOMETRES, THE 175 TURBINES
ARE ARRANGED IN A GIANT GRID TO
CAPTURE THE NORTH SEA'S
PREVAILING SOUTH WESTERLY
WINDS.
EACH TURBINE IS COMPUTER
CONTROLLED WITH ALL DATA SENT
BACK TO THE CONTROL ROOM ON THE
MAINLAND.

Graham says THIS IS THE LONDON
ARRAY OPERATIONS CONTROL ROOM.
THIS IS THE NERVE CENTRE FOR
CONTROLLING ALL OPERATIONS THAT
HAPPEN ON A DAILY BASIS.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE PERFORMANCE
FOR THE PREVIOUS MONTH.
THE TABLE OF INFORMATION THERE
IN THE CENTRE OF THE SCREEN IS
GIVING AN INDICATION THAT WE
WOULD HAVE HOPED TO PRODUCE
ABOUT 192,000 MEGAWATTS.
WE ACTUALLY PRODUCED 208,000.
SO, WE PRODUCED MORE THAN BUDGET
WHICH IS, AGAIN, A VERY NICE
FEELING AND IS GENERALLY AS A
RESULT OF WIND BLOWING AROUND
MORE THAN EXPECTED.
THE FUTURE IS GOING TO BE MUCH
LARGER WINDFARMS, MUCH FURTHER
OFFSHORE WITH MUCH LARGER
TURBINES.
SO, THE FUTURE IS LOOKING VERY
ROSY INDEED FOR OFFSHORE WIND.

The narrator says BUT TO STAY AT THE CUTTING
EDGE OF THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY,
THE CHALLENGE FOR THIS
AMBITIOUS TEAM IS TO MAXIMISE
THE ARRAY'S POTENTIAL.

Ed says IT'S ALL ABOUT COMING UP
WITH NEW WAYS TO REALLY OPTIMISE
THE EFFICIENCY SO WHEN THE WIND
IS BLOWING WE'RE ABLE TO CAPTURE
ALL THE ENERGY THAT WE POSSIBLY
CAN.

The narrator says BUT HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO
BOOST THE POWER OF THE ARRAY?
TO UNLOCK THE SECRET, ITS
ENGINEERS, IN THEIR QUEST FOR
KILOVOLTS, MUST TURN TO AN
UNLIKELY SOURCE.
(TICKING)

(music plays)

At the racing tracks, Aisling says BRITAIN'S SILVERSTONE IS HOME
TO A HIGH OCTANE SPORT WHERE
PERFORMANCE IS EVERYTHING.

Aisling is in her late twenties, with long straight light brown hair with bangs and wears glasses, jeans, a black sweater and protective earmuffs.

She says IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR
RACING.

The narrator says BUT ENGINEER DR. AISLING
O'KANE IS FINDING OUT THAT
DESPITE THE HUGE HORSEPOWER ON
DISPLAY AT THIS CLASSIC MEET...

Aisling says IT'S AMAZING TO BE CLOSE TO
THIS SPEED AND THIS POWER.

The narrator says --A SECRET TO SLASHING TIMES
IS SURPRISINGLY SMALL...
(WHIRRING)

The narrator says AND WAS INVENTED OVER 40
YEARS AGO.

Aisling says THIS IS A FORMULA 5000 GURNEY
EAGLE.
THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE OF SOME
REALLY INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING.

(REVVING)

Aisling says THE MOTOR IS INCREDIBLY
IMPRESSIVE, BUT IT'S ALSO THE
SHAPE OF THE CAR THAT
CONTRIBUTE TO HOW FAST THIS
THING CAN FLY AROUND THE
CIRCUIT.

The narrator says FOR RACING CARS, SHAPE WASN'T
ALWAYS A PRIORITY.
BY THE '60S, SLEEKER BODIES
INCREASED STRAIGHT LINE SPEED,
AND THE INVENTION OF THE
AIRFOIL IMPROVED CORNERING.
THIS UPSIDE DOWN WING CREATING
DOWNFORCE AND GRIP.
BUT THEN THE EAGLE LANDED, AND
RACED AHEAD OF ITS RIVALS.

Aisling says TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CAR.
IT'S INCREDIBLE TO SEE HOW THE
AERODYNAMICS ALLOW THIS CAR TO
JUST FLY AROUND THIS TRACK WITH
EASE.

She watches the car on the tracks and says "There he goes. Indie 5000. Guiney Eagle. Left us in the dust."

The narrator says WHAT SETS THE GURNEY EAGLE
AHEAD OF ITS FIELD IS A MINUTE
PIECE OF ENGINEERING GENIUS.

Aisling says IT'S FUN!

The narrator says CREATED BY AMERICAN RACING
LEGEND AND ENGINEER DAN GURNEY.
IN 1971, HIS ALL AMERICAN TEAM
WAS STRUGGLING WITH
PERFORMANCE, LACKING THE EDGE
TO BE AN INDY 500 CONTENDER,
UNTIL GURNEY BOLTED ON AN
ADDITION TO ITS WING.

Aisling says HERE IT IS, THE GURNEY FLAP!
A SMALL PIECE OF ENGINEERING,
MASSIVE DIFFERENCE TO DOWNFORCE.
DAN GURNEY HAD HAPPENED UPON, IN
HIS GARAGE, A SIGNIFICANT FEAT
THAT EVEN AEROSPACE ENGINEERS
HADN'T COME ACROSS YET.

The narrator says IT MIGHT NOT LOOK IMPRESSIVE,
BUT THIS TINY DETAILING HAS A
BIG EFFECT ON TURBULENT AIR
KNOWN AS VORTICES FORMED AT THE
AIRFOIL'S TRAILING EDGE.

Aisling says A NORMAL AIRFOIL, THERE ARE
TWO VORTICES THAT COME OUT AND
MEET IN THE MIDDLE.
WITH THE ADDITION OF THE GURNEY
FLAP THAT CHANGES THESE VORTICES
IN A VERY SIGNIFICANT WAY.

The narrator says THE FLAPS ADDITIONAL HEIGHT
CHANGES THE POINT AT WHICH THE
STREAMS OF AIR SEPARATED BY THE
WING RECONNECT, INCREASING THE
VERTICAL DEFLECTION OF AIR,
CREATING GREATER DOWNFORCE.
TO SEE JUST HOW EFFECTIVE IT IS
AISLING IS FIRST PUTTING A
STANDARD AIRFOIL THROUGH ITS
PACES.

Aisling says WE'RE GOING TO USE THIS MODEL
AIRFOIL, PUT IT ON THE SCALES,
AND SEE HOW DOWNFORCE IS
CREATED.
SO, YOU CAN SEE THERE ZERO
GRAMS.
WE'RE GOING TO TAKE OUR TRUSTY
INSTRUMENT TO CREATE THE
AIR FORCE.

She turns on a hairdryer and aims it at the model.

(WHIRRING)

She says "The air coming through is creating low pressure underneath, high pressure above, and therefore creating downforce. The readings here are hovering between 10 and 15 grammes."

The narrator says BUT WHEN A FLAP IS ADDED,
THE DIFFERENCE IS REMARKABLE.

Aisling says "So look, you can see that the grammes are approximately twice what they were without the Gurney Flap. It's doubled the downforce. The power of the Gurney Flap has a massive impact even on this model."

The narrator says GURNEY'S NEWLY IMPROVED EAGLE
CLAIMED SEVEN POLE POSITIONS
AND WON AN IMPRESSIVE FOUR INDY
CAR RACES.

Aisling says AT PLACES LIKE THIS
WHERE THERE'S SUCH COMPETITION
IN RACE CAR DRIVING, THE PUSHING
VEHICLES TO THE LIMITS AND
PUSHING THE PHYSICS INVOLVED IN
IT, THE IMPACT THAT IT HAD TO
ENGINEERING IS ABSOLUTELY
AMAZING.

(TICKING)

(music plays)

The narrator says BUT HOW CAN LONDON ARRAY'S
ENGINEERS ADAPT THIS MINISCULE
CONCEPT TO FUTURE PROOF THE
LARGEST OFFSHORE WINDFARM ON
THE PLANET?
EACH OF THE 175 TURBINES ARE
SUPERSIZED, BUT ED HALL AND HIS
TEAM ARE MAKING SMALL
ADJUSTMENTS TO EVOLVE IT'S
BLADE TECHNOLOGY.

Ed says INCREASING AERODYNAMIC
EFFICIENCY ON THESE BLADES WE
ARE USING AERODYNAMIC
ENHANCEMENTS, IT'S ABOUT
REDUCING DRAG AND GETTING AS
MUCH ENERGY OUT OF THE WIND AS
POSSIBLE.

The narrator says INSPIRED BY THE GURNEY FLAP,
A SERRATED STRIP IS FITTED
ALONG THE EDGE NEAR TO THE
CENTRE OF THE BLADE, HELPING TO
PRODUCE MORE LIFT WHICH MAKES
THEM SPIN FASTER.
SERRATED TAILS ARE ALSO FITTED
TO THE FASTEST MOVING PART OF
THE BLADE TO REDUCE DRAG CAUSED
BY TURBULENCE.

Ed says THE ADD-ONS ADD A PERCENT
OR TWO ON TO THE ENERGY THAT WE
CAN CAPTURE FROM THE WIND.
DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A LOT BUT
WHEN YOU ADD IT UP OVER 175
TURBINES HERE OPERATING 24-7
THEN IT DOES ADD UP.

The narrator says IN THIS OFFSHORE WORLD OF
MAMMOTH ENGINEERING, IT'S THE
SMALLEST DETAILS THAT CAN MAKE
THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE.

Ed says USING DIFFERENT ELEMENTS
OF ENGINEERING TO REALLY
MAXIMISE THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY
THAT'S CAPTURED FROM THE WIND IS
REALLY EXCITING.
WIND IS A FREE FUEL, SO IT'S
ALL ABOUT GETTING THE MOST OUT
OF IT THAT YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

The narrator says THESE FINAL MODIFICATIONS TO
THE BLADES ARE THE FINISHING
TOUCHES TO ONE OF THE WORLD'S
MOST ADVANCED MARITIME FEATS OF
ENGINEERING.

(music plays)

The narrator says THROUGH DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
LONDON ARRAY IS CHANGING THE
FACE OF ENERGY PRODUCTION.

A crew member says BEING PART OF THE LARGEST
OFFSHORE WIND FARM IN THE WORLD,
IT'S A PRIVILEGE, IT'S
UNBELIEVABLE, GREAT SENSE OF
ACHIEVEMENT.

The narrator says THIS GROUND-BREAKING WIND
FARM IS PAVING THE WAY FOR THE
FUTURE.

Graham says EVERY TIME I COME OFFSHORE
AND LOOK AT THESE AMAZING
STRUCTURES I'M ALWAYS IMPRESSED
IN THE SAME WAY AS I WAS FIRST
TIME I SAW THEM.
THE SHEER SCALE, BEAUTY OF
SOMETHING THAT'S GENERATING SO
MUCH POWER OF AN INFINITELY
RENEWABLE RESOURCE.

The narrator says BY DRAWING FROM PIONEERS OF
THE PAST AND PUSHING THE
BOUNDARIES OF INNOVATION,
THE ENGINEERS BEHIND LONDON
ARRAY ARE SUCCEEDING IN MAKING
THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE.

Nick says IT IS PHENOMENAL.
THINKING BACK AS THE MATHS AND
SCIENCE KID IN THE BACK OF CLASS
I WOULD HAVE GIVEN MY RIGHT ARM
FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY I HAVE TO
SAY.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Narrated by Matthew Skilton.

Producer and directors, Tim Williams, Timothy Clarkson, and John-Pierre Newman.

Executive producer, Neil Edwards.

Series Producers, Gill Hennessey and Jonney Steven.

Two Four Rights. Produced in association with Yesterday.

Copyright 2018, Two-four.

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