Turbine Manufacturer Creates World’s First Crane That Climbs Wind Turbines

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Dutch wind turbine manufacturer Lagerwey has developed the world’s first fast climbing crane that can be utilized on the side of a wind tower to provide a much faster and cheaper construction.

According to Clean Technica, the crane and its ability to climb provides significant advancements and implications for the wind turbine industry across the globe. The fast climbing crane will not require a large base area to operate from and can enable turbine construction that would otherwise have been much more difficult — often times impossible — to build.

Another added benefit of this climbing crane is the ability to construct turbines in tough locations like dikes, forests, marshlands, and large mountain ridges. Convention cranes typically require a long, flat, straight area. Because construction in various locations is now possible thanks to these new developments, the entire process will be much cheaper and can save the entire industry significant amounts of money. Operating cranes are extremely expensive and can be very time-consuming, so these fast climbing machines will greatly improve the market.

“The cranes capable of building tall wind turbines [that] are scarce and expensive. They also take up a great deal of space on the building site or require vegetation to be removed,” said Hank Lagerwey, the founder and designer of the new crane. “The costs involved in using our crane are much lower than for traditional cranes. The same crane can also be used for any necessary maintenance.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that cranes are required to be assembled on the ground, drained, and graded sufficiently in conjunction with supporting materials like blocking, cribbing, padding, matting, and others to provide specific support and levelness.

The crane will be able to climb up any size tower using prefabricated recesses and is not currently compatible with other towers just yet. This design will soon be changing the wind turbine and crane industry very soon.

Wind Power reports that the prototype of the crane is expected to begin testing in 2017 and currently can only be attached to steel modular toward, which is the typical type of tower for turbines.

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