Late last year Chinese manufacturer XCMG announced two new high capacity telescopic cranes for wind turbine installation. The 1,800 tonne, nine axle XCA1800 All Terrain and the 2,000 tonne XCC2000 telescopic crawler crane - the Windflex 3 and Windflex 4 respectively.
At least three of the All Terrains have already been delivered directly to wind farm construction sites in China, while at least one telecrawler has been delivered and has already installed a number of 3.5MW turbines.
Specification details on the new cranes are scant to non-existent. Both cranes have similar seven section booms with a total length of around 100 metres or so, although the All Terrain boom is convertible with the four inner sections removable to leave the crane with a heavy duty 50 metre boom making it ideally suited for road travel. The crawler on the other hand has a simple seven section boom. The XCC2000 has a relatively narrow track chassis, equipped with large swing-out two-stage telescopic outriggers, providing a large base as well as the ability to level up on uneven ground.
On its first job the XCC2000 lifted a 132 tonne nacelle to a hub height of 145 metres. The crane used the fully extended main boom plus around 60 metres of cable supported lattice extension for a maximum tip height of around 165 metres. According to the company the lift took just 20 minutes and that once the blade assembly was also installed the crane was ready to travel to the next turbine foundation within three hours.