Lagerwey, a wind turbine manufacturer has invented a crane that addresses the issue of cranes’ enormous footprints by ascending wind turbines as it assembles them. As some of you already know, a wind turbine can be hundreds of feet tall, and weigh thousands of pounds, requiring a rare masterpiece of a crane for construction.
A traditional crane’s footprint is approximately 3,000 square metres (Could this be why the turbines on wind farms are so spaced out? It’s starting to look that way). This Godzilla-like footprint limits where one can install these large turbines. This is why Lagerwey’s crane, which requires only 350 square metres could open a window of opportunity to install wind turbines at more sites, and save money.
Video Credit: Lagerwey Wind via YouTube.
According to Henk Lagerweij from Lagerwey,
‘The cranes capable of building tall wind turbines are scarce and expensive. They also take up a great deal of space on the building site or require vegetation to be removed. This gave me the idea for the Lagerwey Crane, which ‘climbs’ together with the mast while constructing it. Lagerwey transports this crane on three regular trailers and erects it within half a day. The crane also only requires a small base. As a result, the costs involved in using our crane are much lower than for traditional cranes. The same crane can also be used for any necessary maintenance.’
Wind turbines on land require periodic maintenance (as does anything else), so a crane that reduces the cost of that might just be worthwhile. Offshore wind turbines are more costly to maintain due to the simple fact that they’re out in the ocean. If this crane can be used for offshore turbines as well, then that may be where it really shines. To be fair to offshore wind farms, they often use low-maintenance gearless wind turbines to ameliorate this issue.