The Enercon E-126 wind turbines are just under 200 m tall, with the upper part weighing a total of 650 tonnes. The hub alone weighs 303 tonnes.
With its 6 MW output, Enercon’s E-126 turbine is one of the most powerful wind turbines in the world. Earlier this year, a 1,600 tonne capacity Terex CC 9800 lattice boom crawler crane was used to erect them.
The project, at the port facilities in Hamburg Altenwerder, Germany, was carried out by the Sarens Group heavy lifting specialist from Belgium.
The generator’s axle is 135 m high, and the rotor has a 127 m diameter, giving a total height of just under 200 m. The complete upper, including turbine house, hub, and blades, weighs 650 tonnes. The biggest piece is the hub with the steel blades installed, weighing 303 tonnes.
The CC 9800 has been optimised for lifting complete sub assemblies of increasingly large and powerful wind turbines with outputs between 6 and 7 MW to any height required.
With its 4 metre-wide main boom and an SSL/LSL, plus LF configuration, the CC 9800 can lift more than 300 tonnes to a hub height of just under 135 m.
In Hamburg the CC 9800 was supported by a CC 1500 that guided the third blade body for the first few metres.
"We’re moving a machine with a tare weight of 1,800 metric tonnes from one place to another. And there is demand everywhere in the world. Terex took this into account and optimised the crawler crane for cost-effective transportation," says Hendrik Sarens, Sarens manager and owner.
The Terex CC 9800 is based on the existing Terex CC 8800-1 and uses the same machine components as the larger 3,200 tonne capacity Terex CC 8800-1 Twin lattice boom crawler crane.
Wind power has become an increasingly important element in energy supply over the last ten years, and looks likely to continue to grow. However, it presents a unique set of challenges for installation contractors and crane manufacturers.
While wind energy may appear to be a panacea for these political and economic ills, it throws up a new range of problems for the crane industry. On offshore sites, where the highest capacity turbines are being installed, cranes and turbine parts need to be moved, requiring the development of specialised barges and mobile platforms. On land, the problems are perhaps even more intense.
The best place to put an onshore turbine is often on the crest of a hill, in the middle of peat moorlands or in wooded areas, places considered to be particularly scenic and in need of protection from damage by access roads, but which may also suffer from difficult ground conditions.