As more studies become known, environmental measures must be taken to sustain life on earth. These initiatives aim to enable sustainable living for years to come.
With a new president in office, Joe Biden has drawn attention to climate change and the demand to deviate from the consistent use of fossil fuels (2021). It’s no secret that fossil fuel use comes with a host of disadvantages, including land degradation, water pollution, emissions, global warming pollution, other forms of air pollution, and ocean acidification (2018).
Did you know that coal-fired power plants cause 42 percent of dangerous mercury emissions in the US alone (2018)? To reduce the physical cost of fossil fuels, other innovations and initiatives need to be implemented to preserve the earth.
The government is taking this issue seriously as President Biden has already issued 21 new safeguards and another eight have been proposed (2021). Part of these initiatives includes finding alternative methods of generating energy. © JoergSteber – stock.adobe
Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, is an attempt to bring the earth back to prosperity. These measures include solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, biomass energy, geothermal energy and electricity generated from the ocean (2018).
Here’s another fact: One of the fastest growing alternative energy industries is wind power – a sector that relies on the implementation of cranes.
How does wind power work?
Wind can be used to generate mechanical energy or electricity – – Alternatives to fossil fuels. One way to generate wind power is to use wind turbines. These large structures reuse wind patterns, which creates mechanical force.
The mechanical force generated from these structures can be used for many different tasks. For example, the mechanical force generated by wind can be used to grind grain or pump water. On the other hand, the mechanical power can also be converted into electricity by a generator (Energy.gov).
The crane industry participates in clean energy
Since the beginning of the construction of wind turbines, cranes have found their place in the construction, maintenance and deconstruction of turbines. More precisely, the bigger the project, the bigger the crane. © compuinfoto – stock.adobe
In 2011, a Manitowoc crawler crane erected 204 turbine towers in Oaxaca, Mexico (2011). In 2016, MidAmerican Energy in Adams Country, Iowa built a 379-foot concrete wind turbine that used massive cranes for various parts of the assembly. This included lifting 27,000 pound blades (2016).
In 2019, the 100-ton Terex RT 100 US overhauled a 130-ton crane on a basic wind turbine project. The solid, versatile, and powerful crane lifted a 13,000 pound latch cage and positioned it in the center of the rebar (2019).
As alternative energy continues to grow – with wind turbines erected at the top – cranes are still proving their worth and their mandatory presence on turbine construction sites.
As the industry grows, industry leaders are developing new and improved solutions to remove physical boundaries, increase efficiency, and create a safer work environment. In 2017, Mammoet developed the WTA 250, an assembly crane for wind turbines. and a wind turbine maintenance crane, the WTM 100.
The wind turbine erection crane was constructed with a guide rail that ran along the lower section of the turbine. The guiderail raised the next section with the turbine for support (2017).
The WTM 100, a crane with a capacity of 100 tons, can be attached to two lifting lugs and pull itself up and heavy loads, which means that the turbine remains functional.
Mammoet isn’t the only brand name with a hand in the bowl. TICO, Weihua Crane Global, Nordex, Vestas, GE and Enercon manufacture, among other things, cranes that have been specially developed for the assembly of wind turbines.
Maintenance is a common theme for many innovations. Cranes have proven necessary long after the initial construction work was completed.
Due to the movement caused by the generator, the head and body of the turbine shake with great force. This in turn means that the steel cable that holds the generator in place (TICO) has to be repaired.
There are other causes of wear on a wind turbine, such as: B. an ineffective yaw system, unusual noise failures, no power generation, slowing down of the wind turbine and much more.
With many of these maintenance repairs requiring high altitude, cranes are again in demand – and convenient to have close by.
The global crane market is positive and reflects the demand for cranes
According to Future Market Insights, the global tower crane market is projected to grow to $ 19.3 billion in 2021, with a growth rate of nearly 4.8 percent in 2021-2031.
READ MORE: Worldwide tower crane sales are expected to grow 4.8% annually for the next decade
Graphical Research Global Crane Rental Market report mimicking the positivity and growing significantly over the next five years.
As alternative energy initiatives increase, the wind turbine market itself is projected to reach $ 59,320 million by the end of 2026 and grow at an annual growth rate of 5.8 percent according to Market Watch (2021).
Since January 2021, an average of 3,000 turbines have been built per year since 2005 (2021). The US wind turbine database currently contains 67,000 turbine records, according to the US Department of the Interior (2021).
Environmental initiatives for sustainability are nothing new. However, with increasing government pressure, the industry can expect more opportunities for renewable resources – and demand from the entire construction industry.