Lagerwey unveils 'climbing crane'

NETHERLANDS: Dutch turbine manufacturer Lagerwey has revealed what it calls the world's first "climbing crane" to help install turbines, particularly in areas of difficult terrain.

Lagerwey's crane needs less base area than a conventional crane

The crane is attached to the base of the turbine tower and can be used to install tower segments, the nacelle and rotor.

Lagerwey's crane removes the need for a large base, as is necessary for conventional cranes.

"For a large and heavy conventional crane, a long, straight area around 200 metres long and several metres wide, approximately 3,000 square metres is required," according to the manufacturer. Lagerwey's crane needs only 350m2 meaning it can be used on project sites with more uneven terrain.

It can also operate in wind conditions of up to 15m/s, Lagerwey said.

A prototype of the crane is expected to be tested in 2017. It can currently only be attached to steel modular towers, the company said, which is the typical type of tower for Lagerwey turbines.

Lagerwey founder and designer Henk Lagerwey said: "Wind turbines are continually getting bigger, heavier and taller.

"The cranes capable of building tall wind turbines are scarce and expensive. They also take up a great deal of space on the building site or require vegetation to be removed.

"The costs involved in using our crane are much lower than for traditional cranes. The same crane can also be used for any necessary maintenance."

Lagerwey's crane can be transported to project sites on three standard trailers and be constructed in half a day, the company said.