Wind

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as electricity, using wind turbines. At the end of 2008, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 121.2 gigawatts (GW). In 2008, wind power produced about 1.5% of worldwide electricity usage; and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005 and 2008.

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 11% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the Republic of Ireland in 2008. As of May 2009, eighty countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis. Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines.

Wind energy as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels, because it is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions. However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed due to their visual impact and other effects on the environment.

Electrical

Electric power transmission is the bulk transfer of electrical energy, a process in the delivery of electricity to consumers. A power transmission network typically connects power plants to multiple substations near a populated area. The wiring from substations to customers is referred to as electricity distribution, following the historic business model separating the wholesale electricity transmission business from distributors who deliver the electricity to the homes.

Electric power transmission allows distant energy sources (such as hydroelectric power plants) to be connected to consumers in population centers, and may allow exploitation of low-grade fuel resources such as coal that would otherwise be too costly to transport to generating facilities. Usually transmission lines use three phase alternating current (AC). Single phase AC current is sometimes used in a railway electrification system.

High-voltage direct current systems are used for long distance transmission, or some undersea cables, or for connecting two different ac networks. Electricity is transmitted at high voltages (110 kV or above) to reduce the energy lost in transmission. Power is usually transmitted as alternating current through overhead power lines.

Gas

Pipelines are generally the most economical way to transport large quantities of oil or natural gas over land. Compared to railroad, they have lower cost per unit and higher capacity. For natural gas, pipelines are constructed of carbon steel and varying in size from 2 inches (51 mm) to over 60 inches (1,500 mm) in diameter, depending on the type of pipeline.

The gas is pressurized by compressor stations and is odorless unless mixed with a mercaptan odorant where required by a regulating authority. When a pipeline is built, the construction project not only covers the civil work to lay the pipeline and build the pump/compressor stations, it also has to cover all the work related to the installation of the field devices that will support remote operation.

Field devices are instrumentation, data gathering units and communication systems. The field instrumentation includes flow, pressure and temperature gauges/transmitters, and other devices to measure the relevant data required. These instruments are installed along the pipeline on some specific locations, such as injection or delivery stations, pump stations (liquid pipelines) or compressor stations (gas pipelines), and block valve stations.

Exploration

The earliest oil wells were drilled percussively by hammering a cable tool into the earth. Soon after, cable tools were replaced with rotary drilling, which could drill boreholes to much greater depths and in less time. The record-depth Kola Borehole used non-rotary mud motor drilling to achieve a depth of over 12,000 meters (38,000 ft).

Until the 1970s, most oil wells were vertical (although different lithology and mechanical imperfections cause most wells to deviate at least slightly from true vertical). However, modern directional drilling technologies allow for strongly deviated wells which can, given sufficient depth and with the proper tools, actually become horizontal. This is of great value as the reservoir rocks which contain hydrocarbons are usually horizontal, or sub-horizontal; a horizontal wellbore placed in a production zone has more surface area in the production zone than a vertical well, resulting in a higher production rate.

The use of deviated and horizontal drilling has also made it possible to reach reservoirs several kilometers or miles away from the drilling location (extended reach drilling), allowing for the production of hydrocarbons located below locations that are either difficult to place a drilling rig on, environmentally sensitive, or populated.

General Construction

 

Industrial construction, though a relatively small part of the entire construction industry, is a very important component. Owners of these projects are usually large, for-profit, industrial corporations. These corporations can be found in such industries as medicine, petroleum, chemical, power generation, manufacturing, etc.

Processes in these industries require highly specialized expertise in planning, design, and construction. As in building and heavy/highway construction, this type of construction requires a team of individuals to ensure a successful project. One of the keys to a successful project is the availability of a non-permanent working foundation.

Crane mats have become a staple in many of these industrial projects as they provide not only the desired result, but also a speedy one. Specifically, rental mats seem to be the solution of choice due to the shorter duration of most projects in this category.