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Manitowoc 16000 Wind Attachment Boosts Crane’s Capacity

Wed February 17, 2010 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

A new attachment for Manitowoc’s Model 16000 crawler crane boosts the crane’s capacity to place the latest generation of wind turbines. The Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment uses existing hardware in a new configuration and gives the crane enhanced lift ability when working at short radii, as is generally required in wind turbine erection.

Mike Wood, global product director of Manitowoc’s crawler cranes, said the new development allows the Manitowoc 16000 to maintain its position as a preferred crane for wind farm contractors.

“Since the Manitowoc 16000 launched four years ago, it has become one of the leading cranes for wind turbine erection in the U.S.,” he said. “Approximately 85 percent of the Manitowoc 16000 cranes we build are used in wind power work. The cranes are quick and easy to erect and disassemble and are equally easy to transport.”

By not requiring any modifications to the base crane, Manitowoc made it easier for customers to take advantage of the new attachment.

Kevin Blaney, project leader on the development of the Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment, said customers would appreciate the simplicity and familiarity when rigging the wind attachment.

“From an operational standpoint, customers are using the same components and processes they’re familiar with,” he said. “The wind industry has evolved and turbines have become larger. We’ve evolved our product to meet the changing needs of our customers.”

In recent years, wind turbines with a 1.5 MW generating capability have been common in many markets, including North America. More recently, there is a shift to 2.5 MW and larger turbines as wind farm operators maximize the power generating productivity of their land. Positioning these larger turbines requires cranes with greater capacity and reach, which is exactly what the Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment offers, according to the manufacturer.

The Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment fits to any 440 ton (400 t) rated standard Manitowoc 16000. Lifting duties at shorter radii are improved, and at 60 ft. (18 m), the crane has a capacity advantage of 44 percent compared with a standard Manitowoc 16000. This allows it to install most 2.5 MW wind turbines (and several larger ones) on towers between 262 and 279 ft. (80 to 85 m).

Aside from the wind attachment, the Model 16000 offers enhanced line pull, which is useful for wind turbine installation. The 16000 line pull is 155 kN (35,000 lb).

Blaney said this powerful line pull was particularly well-liked in wind turbine applications.

“In wind farm assembly, our customers like the power and speed they get from the line pull,” he said. “It means they get their components in the air and assembled faster with the reassurance of Manitowoc’s strength. It’s simply more productive.”

Unlike other cranes suited to lifting larger wind turbines, the Manitowoc 16000 wind attachment does not use longer fixed or luffing jibs. Often, when working with a longer jib, the cut-off wind speed for safe operation is lower than when working with just a boom and boom tip, according to the manufacturer. Using longer jibs can often cause delays when erecting wind turbines as, by its very nature, this work needs to take place in windy locations.

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