Series Production Started: Käufer Befahrtechnik Launches the World's First Rotor Blade Access System for Onshore Wind Turbines with Mechanically Opening Gangways

28 May 2020

The world market leader Käufer Befahrtechnik has started series production of the world's first rotor blade access system with mechanically openable gangways. The new, TÜV-certified K-BP-4 access platform is suitable for all service operations on all models of high-output onshore wind turbines with hub heights of up to 200 meters.

The new access system allows the inspection and repair of rotor blades with tips up to 17.5 meters away from the tower, which is mainly the case with modern pre-bended blades. Rotor blade access systems are susceptible to wind and can quickly flip over - especially when fully telescoped. "With our unique system, service technicians can now drive right up to the tower and access the blade from any position. This means that they can always descend safely, even on pre-tensioned pre banded blades. The access system can thus also be used in wind speeds up to 14 metres per seconds," explains managing director Dirk Käufer.

Maximum safety - stability and effective accessibility to all blade areas

Working hours are reduced, while operating times and, most importantly, safety are increased. As the access platform is operated using three cable winches, it is suspended in an extremely stable manner. Due to the positioning of the cable winches, all blade areas can be reached, right up to just below the nacelle. Thanks to the hinged side arms, it is possible to safely access all three winches, thus ensuring that emergency descent is always possible. This means that any emergency evacuation of the technicians by rope is not necessary. The new TIRAK winches have a payload of 1,150 kilogrammes, which means that the access system also has sufficient payload capacity.

Protected in any weather

Infrared lamps ensure that the service technicians can work optimally even in the cold, the dark and in high humidity. If the customer wishes, Käufer can supply external weather shelter, which protects the system against both bad weather and high solar radiation. This thus increases the operating times and the protection of the employees to a maximum.

In recent months, the prototype of the new access system has already been tested on Vestas, Nordex and GE Wind turbines throughout Europe. Käufer will be presenting the K-BP-4 at WindEnergy Hamburg from December 1 to 4, 2020.

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