Major developments to boost the research capabilities of South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park are well under way and heading towards completion.
Hi-tech machining equipment is being installed at South Yorkshire’s ground-breaking Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Centre. Construction of the Knowledge Transfer Centre is almost complete.
The extension of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s “Factory of the Future” to create research facilities for studying and developing hi-tech composites is also well under way.
Meanwhile, a pioneering new wind turbine which will provide power for the Nuclear AMRC and the AMRC has been erected and is now being commissioned.
“The first big bits of research equipment have been installed, including the first two machining centres and the robot machining cell, with more to come over the next couple of months,” said a spokesman for the Nuclear AMRC, which will play a key role in boosting Britain’s ability to design and build the next generation of civil nuclear power plants.
More equipment, including a 27 metre (88ft) deep-hole drilling machine, big welding rigs and an innovative snake-arm robot, will be installed soon.
One of the most visible changes has been the erection of a 325ft high wind turbine to replace two 130ft turbines.
The Powerwind 56 turbine is the first of its kind in the UK and should generate 5,000 kWh a day – enough to power up to 500 homes. The turbine took a week to install.
Features include a water-cooled generator and technologies which allow smooth operation in rough conditions and minimise noise and reflections from the blades.
Final testing and commissioning will take around a month.
The Nuclear AMRC will be heated by ground source heat pumps, with a capacity of 320kW, and the building has been designed to the most advanced sustainability standards.
n Twin turbines erected to power the Advanced Manufacturng Research Centre will soon be demolished. They were mothballed for around two years after the blades fell off one because of wind turbulence close to the ground.
Twin-bladed turbines were installed after plans for a single, taller turbine were originally ruled out because it would pose a risk to planes using Sheffield City Airport – even though flights to the airport had been stopped by that stage.
The new, taller wind turbine, which will be unaffected by low level turbulence, could be erected at no additional cost to the AMRC.