Allt Dearg has twelve Vestas V52 wind turbines. Each turbine can produce 850kW at full output. The site produces around 10 MW, which is normally enough to supply all the electrical power needs of Ardrishaig, Lochgilphead and the surrounding area. The turbines start to generate when the wind speed at the hub height reaches 4 m/s (9 mph - Gentle Breeze), full power output is reached at 16 m/s (36 mph - Moderate Gale), the turbines shut down at 25 m/s (56 mph - Storm).
The V52 is a tried and tested workhorse, they first entered service in 2000 (ancient history in wind turbine terms). There are around 4,000 installed worldwide. Vestas ceased production of the V52 in 2012, to concentrate on larger machines, so Allt Dearg has some of the very last V52s to be installed in Europe. Vestas put the V52 back into production to supply 365 wind turbines for the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history. The wind farm covers 162 km ² and is located in Marsabit County, Kenya, it is due to enter service in early 2017.
Due to its relative height and exposed location, Allt Dearg is a very windy site, with an annual capacity factor of around 45% (in 2013, our first full year of production capacity factor was just over 50%) . The capacity factor is higher in winter, and drops during the calmer summer months. The UK average capacity factor is just over 25%. Capacity Factor is the measure of the actual power output (MWhours) as a percentage of the maximum theoretical power output (assuming the turbines are running at full capacity 24/7).
The turbines are fully automatic and the combined site is controlled by a central computer. The turbines are remotely monitored (from Warrington and Poland), 24 hours a day, by Vestas, the Danish turbine makers who are in charge of the turbine operation and maintenance. Day to day the turbines are maintained by James and Robbie - the local Vestas Service Team. They are joined by other specialist service technicians when required. The Ormsary Farmers Engineering and Estate team looks after the switchgear, cables and access roads.
Click for V52 Data Sheet.
The height from the ground to the turbine hub center is 55m, the blade swept area is 52m in diameter (hence V52), so the total tip height when a blade is at 12 o'clock is 81m. The nominal rotor speed is 26 rpm, when the blade tip is travelling at around 160 mph. At maximum rotor speed (31.4 rpm), the blade tip travels at 190 mph.
The nacelles and blades were manufactured in Inner Mongolia (China). The towers, which were delivered in two parts, were manufactured at Wind Towers Ltd, near Campbeltown in Kintyre.
The Turbines each has its own name and personality, due to the slightly different wind conditions at each location.
T1 - Generator Genius (named by the pupils of Achahoish Primary School 2012 - this is the most exposed location and the most productive) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8174 7618
T2 – Josie (Miss Josie Lithgow of Barnlongart – Born October 2012) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8189 7643
T3 - Deò (Breath) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8194 7624
T4 – Pat (The late Mrs Patricia Geddes - who put up with hours of planning at her kitchen table) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8205 7666
T5 – Fìdhlear (Fiddler) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8214 7647
T6 - Lady Joyce (Whose husband Harry “Concrete” Rattray was NPC Resident Engineer for Allt Dearg and Sròndoire) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8221 7627
T7 – Doineann (Storm) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8235 7672
T8 - Molly (Miss Molly Macken, whose father Steve, designed and secured consent for Allt Dearg and Sròndoire ) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8238 7657
T9 – Emmalene (whose husband, Robert Pollock was NPC Project Manager for Allt Dearg and Sròndoire ) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8244 7630
T10 – Iain (The late Iain Kenneth of Stronachullin who laid the first plans for a wind farm in the early 1990's) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8260 7671
T11 – Fàire (Break of Day - Horizon) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8264 7651
T12 – Bàinidh (Fury) - OS Grid Ref: NR 8263 7630