Patented jig accelerates and simplifies wind turbine construction
Daily routine is often an ideal starting point for innovation. Wherever problems occur, unnecessary time is lost or needless costs are incurred, there is always someone who thinks of a solution. A method for doing things smarter, quicker or more cost effectively. It is precisely that motivation which was the driving force behind one of the newest innovations from Hendriks precon: a jig for the production of wind turbine masts.
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Ever since the rise of the issue of sustainability, there have been continuous discussions on the topic. The result is a strong growth of new, sustainable forms of energy, such as solar and wind energy. It’s unmistakable when you look around the countryside or drive through practically any street: wind turbines and solar panels are part of our daily lives.
Hendriks precon does its share for sustainability with the development, manufacture and delivery of steel jigs for producing the concrete components of wind turbine masts. Tapered smooth concrete slabs are placed between these components. The corner components are 15 metres long. Together with the corner components, each segment is comprised of eight parts of 15 metres high each. These parts must be cast on to each other, after which they can be attached to the previous segment. That is 120 metres of vertical wet joint construction per segment – an expensive affair. In addition, a crane must be used for the placement of each segment. An inefficient and therefore costly operation.
With the development of a new, patented production technique, Hendriks precon is changing this construction. The 15-metre high corner elements have been replaced by a jig which has four interconnected corner elements, to form a ring of 3 to 4 metres high.
The jig components close hydraulically and are designed so that the upper part forms the concrete casing for the 3-metre high ring construction, and the lower counter component has a support function. As a result, each new ring is produced on the previous ring. The lower end of one segment becomes the top end of the next (contra cast system).
This new technology allows the ring segments to be manufactured separately on location. A crane is only needed when the various ring segments are assembled together to form a turbine mast. This way, a 90-metre high turbine tower is produced in some 30 days. Moreover, an important advantage is that hundreds of metres of expensive joint construction is no longer necessary.