Page 60 - North American Clean Energy March/April 2020 Issue
P. 60

    wind power
  Innovation in Wind Energy Construction
by Amanda Stieva
With heightened awareness about climate change and a growing global push towards using more renewable energy sources, there is a strong uptick in both the size and complexity of renewable projects. Wind farms, in particular, are expanding at breakneck speed, as is the demand to build them faster and more efficiently.
  for Windmill Blades
  Patterns, Molds, Plugs Precision 5-axis machining Composite Fabrication Engineering Services
      To meet the demand for constructing these complex and large scale windfarms within strict project and time specifications, a new solution has been developed in the use of tower cranes. This innovation was recently used at the Romney Wind Energy Centre in Chatham, Ontario.
The Romney Wind Energy Centre, with an operational capacity of 60 megawatts (MW), has several large wind turbines with a hub height of
433 ft (132m) and weighing 133,997lbs (60,780kgs). It became clear to the BOP contractor, right at the bidding stage, that a conventional crawler crane would neither get the job done on time nor suit the Construction Disturbance Areas (CDA) restrictions of the project. It would be necessary to come up with another innovative solution.
Tower cranes rise to the challenge
As the site team began looking for options, they saw
an opportunity for this to become the first wind farm project in North America to use tower crane technology.
One of the revolutionary tower crane’s major advantages over traditional cranes is the fact that it is built vertically, therefore, taking up much less surface
area. After the first two sections are built, it becomes self-erecting. This means that the tower crane requires less support cranage than a crawler crane, allowing for a smaller surface area for the granular crane pad.
Tower cranes can also withstand much higher
wind limits than comparable crawler cranes. The top section (turbine section 6) has a wind limit of 15m/s, which is 5-7m/s higher than the comparable crane.
In fact, the wind limits of the tower crane are so high that the deciding factor in using this solution is not the crane itself, but the ability of the workers to handle the taglines for each component.
Tower crane better suited for the Romney project’s specifications The Romney turbine installations are on private farm land and, as such, there are limits to the amount
of space that can be utilized on each property. The smaller footprint of the tower crane, and the fact that it is a vertical build, limits the disturbance to the turbine property, affecting the drainage tile works, topsoil impacts, and environmentally sensitive areas.
Tower cranes present an added advantage over crawler cranes; building and tearing down the tower

   58   59   60   61   62