Contractors World 2010 Volume 1 Issue 7
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USA Concrete pumped slabs for fast track solar panel plant . . cont
Compact machines made for safer working
Aldrich noted, “The Super X outriggers used on the Schwing long booms have as much as 12.5% less outrigger soil pressures than other models.“ The Super X one-piece outriggers also allow a 25% smaller footprint and telescope out and around job site obstructions.
This has been an asset for the pumping crews on the hemmed in site. “Safety is always a major concern for Albanese,” states Aldrich, “We believe in ACPA certification of our pump operators and I’m sure that is a plus when we are considered for these projects.”
ACPA guidelines call for recertification within two years for all operators, which Albanese endorses, “The newer operators have a higher safety awareness. It is the veteran operators that may have become too routine in their actions and need an occasional refresher.”
Added work for the pumping crews came in the form of 26,377 m³ of controlled density fill. “Because the top of some of the mat slabs were 2 m below grade, they were going to add dirt and a course of pea gravel to elevate the grade,” Aldrich explains, “This cementious controlled density fill is a pumpable product that does not require compaction and went in fast while providing better support.”
The crew also pumped 2,294 m³ of walls below grade as permanent forms for the flowable fill.
The 305 mm topping slabs were pumped in a checkerboard fashion. These pours were 3 m by 58 m with machine finishing to a FF40 flatness specification.
The 100 mm slump concrete is being provided along with the 2nd floor and roof concrete by Cemex. Currently, concrete placement is occurring in all sections of the building from slabs on grade to second story decks and the roof.
The company reports no downtime on the pumps which utilize a slow-stroking design with 10-inch diameter, 98-inch stroke material cylinders for smooth output and less wear. “Whether it was the 58 with full five-inch line or the 61 with its four and one-half inch pipe, the pour rate was never held up by the pumps,” Aldrich stated.
In the ultra-environmentally sensitive climate on construction sites today, the requirements for clean-out were even more strict on the Solyndra project. A lined pond was provided by the general contractor for wash-out.
The Schwing Rock Valve requires less water for the rinsing process, than other valve types; this helps project personnel to maintain the level of the washout pit.
Albanese owns more than 400 pieces of construction equipment including excavators, scrapers, loaders, backhoes and paving machines in addition to their concrete pumps. Their employee roster numbers more than 800 for the work.
“We bought the Schwing 61 for a bridge job four years ago and it wasn't long before we bought a 58-m,” recalls Aldrich. Two years ago, a customer needed a long boom for an unexpected 380 m³ afternoon pour and called at eight in the morning. “We were able to free up one of our pumps and put together a placing crew to get it done.” The company has grown its pumping fleet from four pumps seven years ago to their current fleet size. This has been made possible by pumping for other concrete contractors in the area.
Concrete placement continued on the Solyndra Fab 2 site until May 2010 when fitting out could begin. This will complete Phase 1 of what promises to be further plant expansion for the manufacturing of the company’s popular cylindrical, photovoltaic, thin film systems.
The new facility will enable Solyndra to fulfil its announced contractual backlog of over $2 billion and create additional jobs. Solyndra's two Fabs in northern California will produce enough solar panels over their lifetime to cut over 350 million tonnes of CO2 emissions or 850 million barrels of oil. The 500 megawatts generated by their annual output of solar panels is enough electricity to supply 150,000 homes.
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Publisher: Roger Lindley
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