October 2016

"What a Stroke of Luck" Tom Tyler

The Secretary, David Stokes, introduced Tom Tyler to the members and invited him to give his talk.

It was entitled "What a Stroke of Luck" and was about a number of events that occurred during the second world war which were to the Allies advantage and these are a few to which he drew our attention.

He began by reminding us of the film the Longest Day and the D Day landings and asked the question, did Hitler ever go to sea? Hitler was an army man so he was content on conquering Europe first, and Britain was an island and a sea faring nation.

After the Allied withdrawal from Dunkirk Hitler could have invaded Britain but did not which gave Britain time to build up its numbers of aircraft and rebuild its defences. It was also lucky that the pilots were told to bomb the East of England but not London, for fear of Berlin being bombed in retaliation.

Then there was the occasion when a Royal Navy Destroyer having depth charged a U Boat in the English Channel, saved the crew, and was able to capture an Enigma cipher machine and code books before it sank. The Germans were not aware of this and this assisted the British code breaking effort.

When Hitler switched his attentions to Russia he lost half a million men who perished in the Russian winter because they not prepared for the weather.

In North Africa, Montgomery was able to gain the upper hand after an American was recalled to the States, as his phone calls, via Italy, were being intercepted and the information was being relayed to Hitler.

Early on, Churchill had tried to get the US involved in War but it was not until the Japanese staged a pre emptive strike on Pearl Harbour did it convince them to join in.

When a Norwegian spy spotted the Bismarck sailing into the N Atlantic, the battleships HMS Hood & Prince of Wales were sent to intercept in the Denmark Straits. The Hood was sunk and the Prince of Wales was seriously damaged. The Bismarck also suffered damage and was leaking fuel oil. It tried to sail to Brest for repairs but was spotted by an RAF Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber which scored a hit on the steering gear, jamming the rudders so it sailed round in circles. It was then neutralized by the other ships and scuttled by its crew.

The Turpits was sunk by Tallboy bombs, invented by the famous engineer Sir Barnes Wallis, who also invented the bouncing bombs which destroyed the dams in the Ruhr and Eder valleys

When the Germans upgraded the Enigma cipher machine to the Lorenz, due to a message being repeated when an operator forgot to change combination, it enabled the British to subsequently crack the cipher.

The weather before the Allied, D Day, invasion of France was dreadful but a window of calm occurred just at the right time. These are just some of the examples quoted by Tom in his talk.

Following many question at the end, the Chairman thanked Tom for a spell binding and very interesting talk and the meeting showed their appreciation in the usual way.

September 2016

Generating Electricity Offshore - Gavin Green and Joanna Young

The Ian Manning introduced Gavin Greene, Principal Electrical Engineer and Joanna Young, Stakeholder Manager from Scottish Power Renewables, to talk to us on the aspect of Generating Electricity Offshore.

There are a number of tough technical challenges in building an offshore wind farm. From the wind turbine generator through the 66kV "medium voltage" collector system, to the offshore substation and then a 120km of high voltage 220kV cable back to the onshore substation. Gavin described Scottish Power's involvement in the East Anglian Zone wind farm. These will include East Anglian One (714 MW) the first, the East Anglian Three (1200MW), East Anglian One North(800MW) and East Anglian Two (800MW)

East Anglian One comprises up to 102 Siemens 7MW wind turbines, two offshore substation platforms with their jacket foundations and two seabed export cables, around 73km in length, with the landfall site at Bawdsey.

The onshore Infrastructure is: the underground cables from Bawdsey which is a 37km route of 2 circuits for EA ONE and ducts for the future EA THREE; horizontal directional drilling under the Deben, the A12, A14, the railway, Miller's Wood (beside the Bramford Substation), an underground connection to National Grid Substation and a new AC substation.

There will eventually be up to six onshore underground cables around 37km in length, and another onshore substation next to the existing substation at Bramford. Construction starts in the first quarter 2017, using a new generation of wind turbines. EA ONE will be capable of powering over 500,000 homes and creating up to 3000 jobs.

A future project is the East Anglia THREE (1,200MW) wind farm, again with landfall at Bawdsey and using the cable ducts laid during the installation of EA ONE to connect to the Bramford substation. There is future proposal for a HVDC converter stations for EA THREE.

Gavin illustrated his talk with many slides and diagrams of the project, including the route that the onshore cables will take from Bawdsey to the National Grid Substation at Bramford. This is a diverse route where the cables are being routed under the river Deben a few miles from its mouth, following various boundaries, south of Woodbridge then north round Ipswich and on to the Bramford substation.

The wind turbine nautilus stands at about 90 metres above the sea bed the blades of the turbine are 75 m long with a rota diameter of 154 m The Generator is direct drive as opposed to the gear box coupled type of earlier styles of generators.

Following many question through out the talk and at the end, the Chairman then thanked Gavin and Joanna for a very interesting lecture. The meeting generously thanked them both in the usual way.