Huisman, a leading company in the design and manufacturing of heavy construction equipment, and Siemens Gamesa, a leading company in wind turbines, have combined their engineering and operational expertise in the development of a solution to stabilise wind turbine components during installation, especially blades, but also nacelles and tower segments.
Controlling the movements of the relatively light blades of a turbine when suspended from a crane, has proven to be an installation challenge due to wind load. To mitigate operational downtime and increase the integrity of the delicate wind turbine components, Huisman and Siemens Gamesa developed the Travelling Load Stabilising System, for universal application in heavy lifting cranes.
The system consists of a combination of two pairs of tuggers working in unison to control to position of the load. One pair is fitted on independent trolleys that can travel along an integrated rail along the crane’s stiff boom. The trolleys automatically follow the main block to maintain an optimal tugger line configuration. The second pair of tugger lines is deployed from the crane tip providing a force perpendicular to the first pair of tuggers. By approaching the load from two different directions, the system provides significantly more control than a conventional single pair of tuggers.
A specially designed control system holds the actual position of the load, resulting in a much stiffer restraint, and therefore a higher position accuracy compared to conventional tugger systems that rely on constant tension. In case of an unexpected overload, the system will give way but will return to its position setpoint when the force drops below the threshold again.
The Travelling Load Stabilising System functions as an integral part of the crane and could, therefore, be operated from the crane’s cabin as well from an optional walk around box (WAB).
Jesper Moeller, Chief Engineer Execution at Siemens Gamesa: “This is crucial for the technical readiness of next-generation offshore wind turbine installations, even under challenging wind conditions. The resulting increase in installation uptime will be accompanied by a positive effect on the operational activities in general, as well as increased on-site safety. Siemens Gamesa sees the system as a potentially new industry standard with benefits for the whole wind industry, providing more productive vessel days, while at the same time reducing (de-)mobilisation times. Hence, Siemens Gamesa will consider the availability of the new Travelling Load Stabilising System on installation vessel cranes as a significant factor in decision making when selecting/hiring appropriate installations vessels in the future.”
David Roodenburg, CEO of Huisman: “The only way to accelerate the energy transition is through innovation enabled by the joint forces of industry partners. We have done this by combining the operational knowledge and experience of Siemens Gamesa with the technical equipment knowledge of Huisman. With the Travelling Load Stabilising System, we are very proud that together we can offer installation companies an efficient solution to reduce weather downtime, a challenging and delaying factor of wind turbine installation.”
Features & benefits of the Travelling Load Stabilising System
- Effective load control because tuggers are always at the optimal elevation.
- The boom trolleys have a much higher stiffness compared to flexible tagline increasing control and workability.
- The winches operate in position control which is much stiffer compared to constant tension mode
- Operation of the tuggers is fully integrated with the crane’s control system.
- Suitable for lifting operations.
- Time consuming boom luffing is not required.
- Suitable for man riding.
- On request tuggers can be automated for specific tasks with all other crane parameters as input.
- Huisman’s latest crane designs have provisions allowing a retrofit of the Travelling Load Stabilising System.