Innovations eliminate current physical limits of turbines and make wind turbine construction and
Maintenance safer and more efficient.

The WTA 250 ready to lift the 2nd 2
Tower section.

The heavy haulage and transport company Mammoet presents the WTM 100 and the WTA 250 – two cranes that are designed to make the construction and maintenance of wind turbines safer and more efficient. Both cranes use the turbine tower as a support point so that they can raise and lower components to greater heights than currently used equipment. This allows wind turbine manufacturers to further increase the capacity of their turbines with greater height and size.

The wind energy industry is continuously increasing economies of scale in order to make wind a more cost-effective alternative to other energy sources. For this purpose, wind turbines are getting bigger and bigger and are reaching physical limits as they are higher than conventional cranes can reach. This also affects the efficiency of

A WTA 250 installs a nacelle.

Maintenance activities for wind turbines. Mammoet recognized these developments and the limitations that current cranes pose in the height and size of wind turbines. For this reason, the company has developed two new cranes: one for the assembly of wind turbines and one for the maintenance of wind turbines.

The wind turbine assembly crane 250 (WTA 250) has a capacity of 250 tons. The WTA 250 crane is being developed in close cooperation with the engineering office MECAL, which is supplying the tower design for the wind turbine. It is mounted on a guide rail that runs along the lower turbine section and can lift the next section using the turbine tower as a support.

If the next section is installed and also equipped with a guide rail, the crane can slide up along the rail and repeat the process for all subsequent turbine sections. After construction is complete, the guide rail can either be removed or left in place for easy access for future maintenance. Since the crane uses the turbine tower for support, the maximum lifting height of the crane is almost limitless.

Installation of a turbine blade with the WTA 250.

The Wind Turbine Maintenance Crane 100 (WTM 100) works on a similar principle. The crane has a capacity of 100 tons. It is attached to two pre-installed lifting lugs and can pull itself and the load upwards along the turbine using the support tower. The WTM 100 is equipped with claws that wrap around the tower to keep itself stable. Using this crane requires minimal modifications. It can be used on turbines that have pre-assembled lifting lugs, and in some cases can also be used on existing turbines.

“Both cranes are compact – the WTM fits easily into two standard containers – and the WTA only needs two transport trailers to be moved around the construction site. That makes them easy to mobilize and relocate and much more efficient than conventional alternatives, ”explains Wessel Helmens, Mammoet’s Director of Innovation. “More importantly, both cranes remove the height restrictions for turbines and both assembly and installation
Exchange process faster and cheaper. “

During maintenance work, the WTM 100 would rise to a height just below the turbine.

In addition, the cranes offer safety advantages, says Helmens: “Since the cranes are attached to the tower, they have no floor space, so additional floor reinforcements are practically unnecessary. The tower-based design also brings the crane and operator closer to the work area, making assembly and maintenance equally possible
safer and easier. “

Mammoet is currently discussing the first applications of this new technology with its customers. You are also exploring other versions. “Depending on the input from our customers, we can introduce further additions to the WT series,” says Helmens.

Replace generator with WTM 100.

WTM 100 in height is ready for turbine service.

Filed under: construction, towers