New machine reduces turnaround times for wind farm lifts

New machine reduces turnaround times for wind farm lifts

Johnson Crane Hire recently acquired a new hydraulic crawler crane specifically manufactured to handle lifts within wind farm applications.

“Johnson Crane Hire is known for working closely with its customers to provide optimum lifting solutions and this is a perfect example of how we were able to implement an application specific solution,” says Cornelis Grotius, General Manager: Heavy Lift Division, Johnson Crane Hire.

The most significant feature of the 1,200 tonne Liebherr LTR 11200 is that it is a large hydraulic boom crane mounted on a narrow track crawler crane undercarriage making it possible to relocate the crane in a short space of time without having to dismantle the crane.

This is a major advantage over lattice boom crawler cranes, which usually have to be dismantled to be relocated over large distances.

“It is the ability of this crawler crane to move along a fairly narrow road between the wind turbines that made it most attractive,” says Grotius.

When the crane arrives at the installation site, the outriggers are fully extended which then provide it with the stability and capacity to lift the wind turbine components. Components include the tower sections, nacelle and rotor consisting of the hub and the three blades.

The prime advantage of being able to relatively rapidly relocate the crawler crane between installation pads will result in significant savings in time and associated costs.

The move between locations can be done within six hours, because it is as simple as retracting the hydraulic boom, crawling the machine to the next pad and extending the boom again, ready to install the next turbine’s components.

This is a major time saving when compared to the ten to 20 hours required for the relocation of a lattice boomcrane that would have been used previously for this type of project.

The new crane is currently working on a wind farm outside De Aar in the Northern Cape.