Ten ABUS EOT cranes at the plant of a manufacturer of wind turbines in France
Wind energy – leading from wind to light
Wind is motion. Wind moves sailing boats and wind moves the sails of windmills—keeping the grinder moving to grind the grain to flour. Today man uses wind to produce electricity with the help of wind turbines. At first the kinetic energy of the wind is transformed into mechanical energy which in turn in transformed into electricity.
Germany, Denmark, and the UK have been the first countries to promote wind energy. However, France is also building more wind farms and Brittany, in the northwest of the country almost surrounded by the stormy Atlantic, is at the cutting edge of it.
ENERCON – a giant in the wind energy sector
ENERCON (www.enercon.de), a company with headquarters in the north of Germany, is one of the global leaders in the sector of wind energy plants and is represented in over 40 countries. The rated power of ENERCON wind turbines ranges between 800 and 3,050 kW and their most powerful system even reaches 7,580 kW. The company produces amongst others the towers required for wind turbines made of either steel tubes or concrete. The towers can be up to 76 metres high. These towers are subject to high stresses depending on their location which they have to be able to cope with in all sorts of conditions. The ENERCON tubular steel towers are produced in several tubular sections and flanged together. The concrete towers consist of individual precast concrete elements with diameters of up to 14.5 metres. The production of these towers does not only comply with national and international applicable rules and regulations, but ENERCON set up its own product standards of excellence as to quality and safety. The design of the towers, too, is the result of consequent research and a core point in the production. Tower sections with large diameters may be delivered in shells to ensure the transport to the site of installation. ENERCON opened a new production unit for the production of concrete towers in Compiègne, in the northwest of France, in the summer of 2012 in order to extend its European production capacities. This is not only the first production plant of ENERCON in France, it is France’s first plant for the production of wind energy systems at all.
Running before the wind – with ABUS
Ten EOT cranes with spans of 23 metres and load capacities between 10 and 80 tonnes were installed in the four halls at Compiègne for the transportation of the concrete elements. Technical assistance, sales, installation, and commissioning were carried out by ABUS Levage France at Nancy, a daughter company of ABUS Kransysteme GmbH. Halls 1 and 2 are used for storage. Here you will find two single girder EOT cranes of the ELK type with load capacities of 10 tons and one double girder EOT crane of the ZLK type with 32 tons SWL. This double girder EOT crane features a double rail trolley type ZA with a stooled-down twin hoist which ensures optimised use of the headroom available. Halls 3 and 4 are production units where individual concrete elements are put together to form segments of the towers to-be. In these areas only double girder EOT cranes are operating and they all come with stooled-down trolleys again for optimum use of the height available. In a further storage area another double girder EOT crane is operating with a load capacity of 80 tons. As this crane is also used outside it has been painted with a special paint to resist all sorts of weathers and its hoist, its motors, and its panels are all covered with protective covers. All cranes are operated by ABUS radio remote controls.
During several installation phases between July and September 2012 the local ABUS service and installation teams worked to install and to commission the cranes so that the production could be officially opened on October 19, 2012 without any incidents.