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Craneless wind blade installation

Airpes the Spanish international manufacturer and distributor of weighing systems and handling devices - part of the Crosby group since last year - has introduced a new ‘craneless wind turbine rotor blade exchange system’.

The system uses ground based winches to hoist or lower, a single replacement blade into position, as an alternative to the increasingly large cranes required, especially with hub heights now exceeding 100 metres and blades measuring up to 80 metres and weighing 24 tonnes.
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The winches are located at the base of the tower

The ‘crane less’ solution involves installing a customised lifting rig within the nacelle to support the shackles and sheaves required for the cables coming from the winches below. The blade to be replaced is then placed in the six o’clock position the cables are then attached to the hub end of the blade, the lift from horizontal requires a smaller mobile crane to tail the blade in until it is vertical. The winches then hoist the blade into position so that it can be bolted in place. The process is said to be considerably less expensive and more energy efficient.
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A crane tails the blade into the vertical

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The blade is then hoisted into position

Airpes co-founder and managing director Josep Compte said: “Our challenge was to develop a more cost effective, faster solution, to replace the logistical feat of getting big cranes, hoisting technology and personnel onto remote sites, sometimes for multiple days. The wind energy market is constantly evolving and innovating, and its suppliers must keep up or even pioneer new solutions. Our ground level, winch based system avoids the use of large cranes, immediately eliminating much of the time and costs involved with other solutions.”

“The 'crane less' system demonstrates innovative thinking and improvements in cost and time efficiencies for the customer. It has given us clear competitive advantage in one of the world’s most vibrant markets, further increasing our market share and contributing to significant, long term growth. Leveraging The Crosby Group’s global footprint, technical field support and training teams, and world-class hardware, together we will bring this solution to more sites and make the lifting and renewables industries safer and more efficient.”


Great invention indeed, but let's hope they ain't gonna come up with self erecting towers.. that would kill wind park hoisting specialists.

Jun 3, 2022

A very nice invention for more efficient installation! The result of the "out of the box" thinking! Please continue!

May 31, 2022

I had to plus this story and Comment by ‘Nothing too heavy’ because of the engineering innovation they have developed and exposed themselves to. Many times I’ve wondered how a wind farm blade can be changed. Thanks to all who reported this.

May 29, 2022

Nothing to heavy
With the CSA of the blade being a factor , surely this is slightly more perilous whilst lowering the blade to ground ,so close to the tower sections and also putting additional strain on rope components not to mention tailing crane

May 27, 2022