Wind turbines…have you ever wondered how they assemble one asks Biglorryblog? Start with a Grove telescopic tower crane….

Biglorryblog has Rod Simmonds to thank for this selection of pictures which shows you (if you’ve ever wondered) how they put up a wind turbine… It all starts with the latest Grove GTK1100 telescopic tower crane, unveiled at the Bauma construction show in Munich, which has completed its inaugural lifting job at a site in Germany, following an extensive test programme at the manufacturer’s Wilhelmshaven plant.

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The first unit was recently to Wiesbauer, the Bietigheim-Bissingen based crane rental company that has helped to develop the mighty GTK. And here it is arriving in a field with its constituent parts on a bunch of artics. The GTK1100’s first job was in Ilshofen, Baden Würtemberg, southern Germany where it was used to install a 2KW wind turbine in a field for Repower Systems. Now sit back as Biglorryblog offers you a step-by-step guide to how to build a crane…

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First the outriggers are lifted into place:

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Next the hook block is ‘reeved.’ Whatever that means – I guess I’d use the word ‘threaded’…? Unless you crane freaks know any better?

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Now the superstructure is raised, using a second mobile crane:

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…and now it’s been finally lowered into place:

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Up goes the mast, with a little bit of help from some hefty hydraulic rams:

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…and locks into the vertical – looks like they’ve buried the outriggers too!

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Next the pendant supports are lifted into place–and I can now see the outriggers so they clearly weren’t buried…

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Now the crane’s mast is telescoped upwards, stretching the ‘guy-ropes’

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With the pendants tensioned the crane is now finally ready to go to work!

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The contract was completed with five lifts, the first three being the tower mast sections that weighed 62 tonnes, 53 tonnes and 45 tonnes respectively. Wonder how they hold the sections together..sellotape? Here, the second tower section weighing 53 tonnes is lifted into place

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Now the top section weighing 45 tonnes is located into position…

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The nacelle was next, weighing 70 tonnes followed by the preassembled three-bladed propeller module. Each blade weighs 8 tonnes, with the assembled module being 42 tonnes… not something you’d want to drop on your foot.

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The 70-tonne nacelle, the heaviest single load, is finally placed onto the 70-metre mast:

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Here we can see the Grove GTK 1100 lifting one of the eight-tonne blades in tandem with a mobile crane, assembling the propeller module on the ground.

Now click through here to see the final finishing touches as the blade and hub assembly weighing 42 tonnes is at last lifted into place…go on, you’ve followed it this far you might as well see the end of it!

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Phew…and you’re exhausted. What about me…it’s taken me ages to cut and paste this little lot into BLB! Anyway, Jochen Wiesbauer, managing director of Wiesbauer, tells me: ” ‘The performance of the GTK1100 on this first set of lifts was simply outstanding, because these lifts were the first in a field setting we took extra caution and double-checked everything. But even with this, the cost and time savings compared to other lift solutions were exceptional.”

Meanwhile, Frans Vanwinkel, [no relation to Rip] senior vice president of sales and marketing for Manitowoc in EMEA witnessed the first job for the GTK and confirms: ‘Unlike traditional lifting solutions on projects such as these, the GTK allowed Repower Systems to save on ground preparation costs. Thanks its reduced space requirement and ability to level on uneven ground with its advanced outrigger design.”

So there you have it…and if anyone ever asks you ‘How do they build a wind-turbine?’ you’ll be able to answer them…thanks to Biglorryblog!

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