Terex Cranes Global Marketing
Press & Public Relations
TEREX® TC 2800-1 ERECTS WIND TURBINE IN THE SWISS ALPS,
SETTING NEW EUROPEAN RECORD FOR HIGH ALTITUDE INSTALLATION
ZWEIBRÜCKEN, October 28th, 2011 – Crane service provider Welti-Furrer Pneukran & Spezialtransporte AG recently erected a 2.3-megawatt Enercon E-70 wind turbine at an altitude of 2,465 meters, near the border between Switzerland and Italy, on behalf of German company Enercon GmbH. The company relied on a Terex® TC 2800-1 lattice boom truck crane to perform the lift and a Terex® AC 120 as an auxiliary crane for setting up the TC 2800-1’s boom.
Erecting the wind turbine amidst the high altitudes of the Swiss Alps involved a series of unique challenges, resulting from the unique location. To start, the site is only accessible to vehicles for about four months during the summer, with snow effectively blocking the way during the rest of the year. This meant that it was absolutely necessary to get all the massive turbine components, as well as the crane, to the site, erect the wind turbine and disassemble the crane again within a short timeframe. To add to the challenge, the only way to transport them was to use relatively narrow and winding roads that were not designed with this kind of project in mind. “This is where the Terex TC 2800-1’s compact design and comparably small weight came in, as it allowed us to avoid doing any damage to the roads,” explains Tobias Schöpfer, Head of Communications at SwissWinds Development GmbH, the company responsible for planning and realizing the project. Transporting the turbine blades was even trickier, as the company had to use its very own “Millipede” (a specially designed multiple axles carrier) transportation system in order to ensure that they would not damage the sensitive surrounding environment. The crane’s presence was particularly baffling to a group of pack animal drivers that passed right alongside the erection site while traversing an old smugglers’ route with their donkeys. In fact, they could not help but ask whether the large crane had actually been flown up there with a helicopter.
Boom assembled while floating in the air
Once at the site, the team sent by Welti-Furrer was faced with extremely tight space conditions—more specifically, the area available for setting up the crane was limited to a mere 20 x 20 meters. In order to ensure that they would be working with ideal ground load conditions, the team set up the crane at the previously inspected edge of the slope, placing 20-square meter stabilizer pads under each outrigger. “This enabled the crane, with its 14 x 14 meter support base, to work with enormous lifting capacities despite the difficult location. In fact, these lifting capacities are significantly larger than those provided by comparable crawler cranes (due to the greater support base), which also played a vital role in our decision to use the Terex TC 2800-1 for this project,” comments Werner Häfliger, head of the Welti-Furrer branch office in Zürich. Once the location had been secured, the help of an additional 300-tonne capacity class crane was used to attach the front 50-meter-long boom section while it floated freely in the air. After reeving the hook block and raising the main boom the crane was ready for action.
The lifts themselves were made more difficult by the fact that the tight space conditions at the site prevented the team from working with the crane’s derrick boom and Superlift ballast. The solution: With an assembled 96-meter SH/LH boom and a counterweight of 200 tonnes, the Terex TC 2800-1 was still able to operate within the required radii.
The crane was located three meters above the wind turbine’s foundation while performing the work required for the project. This lifting work actually started with the pre-assembly of the concrete towers, which, due to the unfavorable space conditions involved, required working with a reach of 12 to 16 meters. In sharp contrast, unloading the rotor blades from the Millipede system meant using a reach of 70 meters. Finally, the actual erection process followed, this time with a working radius of 38 meters. “The enormous range in terms of reach was yet another important challenge that we had to deal with while carrying out this project, but by using the Terex TC 2800-1, we were able to overcome it without a hitch,” explains crane operator Peter Häfliger.
The project’s crowning achievement was marked by the very end of the erection process, in which the Welti-Furrer team lifted the nacelle, together with a 50-tonne generator and the 70-meter rotor, to a hub height of 85 meters. After four straight weeks of work, the team finished the project on schedule despite the limited time available and a series of adverse circumstances. These included fog suddenly appearing and reducing the range of visibility to under 20 meters, gusts of wind with speeds of up to 150 km/h, snowfall and freezing temperatures, and even hail pelting the area, all of which the crane and the team simply had to wait out.
The Terex® TC 2800-1
The 600-tonne lattice boom superstructure can be ordered with a crawler crane chassis or with a truck crane chassis, then designated TC 2800-1. The truck crane chassis, designed by Terex, enables the basic crane to travel separately. Its star-type outriggers allow for a maximum support base of 14 by 14 meters, which provides a high level of stability. In addition, this large support area allows the crane to provide superior lifting capacities and enables it to perform safe work even when used with long boom lengths. The machine can achieve a tip height of up to 192 meters, and has a maximum possible main boom length of 138 meters, the maximum lifting capacity is 600 metric tonnes.
Moreover, the crane is characterized by a high level of flexibility and a sophisticated design that considerably reduce transportation and setup times and costs. For instance, in contrast to crawler crane models of the same category, the TC 2800-1 requires significantly smaller transport vehicles because the base machine is able to travel together with all rope drums and its A-frame while complying with a 12-tonne axle load limit. In addition the innovative IC-1 crane control system, which features two colored touchscreen controls, is designed to operate the crane easily, safely and accurately
About Welti-Furrer Pneukran & Spezialtransporte AG
In line with its role as an industry-leading full-service provider of heavy load transportation and company relocation services, Zurich-based crane and transportation specialist Welti-Furrer offers a comprehensive range of services that go from consulting and planning, through performance, all the way to transportation. The company employs around 100 people and relies on a modern fleet featuring more than 40 mobile cranes with lifting capacities of 30 to 600 tonnes. This fleet includes numerous Terex cranes, such as the TC 2800-C1 used for the wind turbine erection project, as well as the following models: AC 300, AC 200, AC 120, AC 60 City, AC 55 City, and AC 40 City.
For more information, please visit www.welti-furrer.ch and www.pneukran.com
SwissWinds encompasses three independent companies: SwissWinds GmbH, SwissWinds Development GmbH, and SwissWinds Services GmbH. SwissWinds Development, headquartered in Grimisuat, is engaged in the planning and performance of wind power projects. The company has not only specialized in alpine location projects, but is also characterized by its full-service approach, extending from the very first wind measurement to the final turnkey handover of each wind turbine. This young company was founded in 2008 and as of this writing employs 10 people.
For more information, please visit www.swisswinds.com.
Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer operating in four business segments: Terex Aerial Work Platforms, Terex Construction, Terex Cranes, and Terex Materials Processing. Terex manufactures a broad range of equipment for use in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, energy, refining, and utility industries. Terex offers financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of Terex equipment through Terex Financial Services. More information on Terex can be found at www.terex.com.