A new attachment for Manitowoc's Model 16000 crawler crane will boost the machine's lifting capacity, enabling it to erect the latest wind turbines.
The wind attachment uses existing hardware in a new configuration to significantly enhance lift ability when working at short radii, said the company. Mike Wood, global product director for Manitowoc crawler cranes, added that 85% of 16000s on the market are being used for wind power applications.
According to Manitowoc, wind turbines with a 1.5 MW generating capability have been common in recent years. More recently, there is a shift to 2.5 MW and larger turbines as wind farm operators maximize productivity of their land. Positioning these larger turbines requires cranes with greater capacity and reach.
The attachment does not require any modifications to the base crane. "From an operational standpoint, customers are using the same components and processes they're familiar with," said Kevin Blaney, project leader on the development of the Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment.
At a 18 m radius the attachment provides a capacity advantage of 44% compared with a standard Manitowoc 16000, says Manitowoc. This allows it to install most 2.5 MW wind turbines and above on 80 to 85 m high towers.
The wind attachment does not require longer fixed or luffing jibs. "Often, when working with a longer jib, the cut-off wind speed for safe operation is much lower than when working with just a boom and boom tip. Using longer jibs can often cause delays when erecting wind turbines as, by its very nature, this work needs to take place in windy locations," said a Manitowoc spokesperson.
The attachment complements the 16000's 155 kN line pull, the best in its class, says the company. "In wind farm assembly, our customers like the power and speed they get from the line pull. It means they get their components in the air and assembled faster," Blaney concluded.