19 Aug 2019
In the coming weeks, IADC will publish fourteen nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2019 on its website and social media. The winner will be announced on 17 October 2019.
IADC is proud to announce that the first nomination is:
Safer shock-prevention monitoring box from Bender Benelux installed on all Boskalis mobile generators.
During construction of offshore wind farms, windmills have no electrical source. The tower teams, who are installing cables leading to these windmills at sea, must carry their own mobile generators. But there is a problem – these generators are not sufficiently grounded because the yellow transition pieces are sealed in a coating meant to last for 25 years in a saline underwater environment. As a result, the standard circuit breaker is not adequate and this can lead to unsafe situations for workers as well as for equipment.
Recently, when Boskalis wanted to update their mobile generators, Bender Benelux, supplier of these generators, decided to investigate UK law and requirements. The supplier found that the present systems did not meet safety requirements so they set to work to build a new “line insulation monitoring box” with specifications that meet present-day safety standards.
In building the wind towers at sea, small electrical winches to lift equipment to the windmill were running on mobile generators equipped with earth-leakage circuit breakers (ELCB) sensitive to 230V. The ECLB is a safety device used in electrical installations to prevent shock. It detects small stray voltages on the metal enclosures of electrical equipment, interrupting the circuit if dangerous voltage is detected.
Bender Benelux determined that these mobile generators did not meet the safety requirements for the installation of cables in the sea.
Bender concluded that instead of 230V for the generator, the maximum should be 110V and that the standard ELCBs should be replaced with a line insulation monitoring box. This unique monitoring box continuously measures the insulation resistance in the electrical circuit. As soon as the resistance becomes too low (and voltage too high), the circuit is automatically interrupted. It serves as an extra fuse and, whereas the old system reacted after there was a short circuit, this box offers a proactive solution. It reacts before a shock occurs and using lower voltage is also safer because a shock from 110V is less likely to injure a worker if something malfunctions.
In principle, these line insulations monitoring boxes can be used in every industry as a standard precaution. Specifically, this new line insulation monitoring box is a safe application for work in the vicinity of water.
The Bender line insulation monitoring box has been installed in all Boskalis mobile generators and once installed, it did not entail any additional conditions of use. This innovative device could and should be easily applied to all standard generators or electrical installations industry-wide.