Heavy lift rig for wind turbines springs into action at Harland and Wolff
Modulift has designed and manufactured a massive lifting rig that is being used to lift and assemble Repower’s 5MW wind turbines at Harland and Wolff in Northern Ireland. Harland and Wolff is responsible for unloading and assembling the clean power generators for Vattenfall’s Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm Project in the Irish Sea. They also have to load them back onto barges when fully assembled for installation in the Irish Sea. This requires a rig that can multi-task, and Modulift has provided the solution.
Modulift was tasked with developing a rig that could lift individual wind turbines and towers separately, as well as assemble them. Additionally, the rig needed to lift three wind turbine blades together, ensuring that the blades remained calibrated for each turbine at all times. By applying the same principles used in their existing standard products, Modulift engineered a safe, lightweight, and cost-effective solution that allowed Harland and Wolff to store and load continuously from January until the end of July.
Modulift designed a rig with two elements that could be configured in various ways to transport and install wind turbine components. The first element is a 500-ton lifting beam that is 16 meters long. Due to the nature of the lift and the need to minimise the overall weight of the rig, Modulift had to design and build the beam to weigh less than 40 tonnes without compromising its capabilities.
Modulift achieved another engineering feat with the design and fabrication of the second element, a 48.5m spreader that weighed no more than 9.6 tonnes, making it possible to maximise the capacity of the cranes. This element had to be easy to assemble on-site and capable of lifting the wind turbine blades. Each set of three blades weighs 75 tonnes and spans 61.5 metres.
“We are proud to be able to say that we designed and manufactured this solution for Harland and Wolff,” said Sue Spencer, Sales Engineer at Modulift.
“We spent a lot of time planning the best solution for their requirements and still needed to be able to turn this project around in record time. With the barges already on their way from Germany we had to battle against the weather to get the components finished and transported to Belfast on time to enable the project to stay on schedule, with the first barge arriving in early January. The components were taken by ferry to Belfast on several trucks and with Belfast experiencing its coldest winter in 16 years, snowstorms threatened to delay delivery. Luckily the dedication of all parties involved enabled both the Lifting Beam and the Lattice Spreader to be delivered before Christmas and tested and commissioned in time for its first use in early January,” Spencer added.
As demand for heavy lifting is set to increase, Harland and Wolff are expecting to use their new 500-tonne lifting beam on many projects to come. In addition, Modulift have now standardised their new “giant” Lattice Spreaders for customers looking to lift very long loads of up to 100 tonnes.