Boom Lock allows offshore installation at higher wind speeds

Monday, 16 March, 2015 - 11:15
The Boom Lock consists of a trolly, mounted at a conventional crane that grabs the hoisting block of the rotor blade. Afterwards it is docked for a safer lift. (Photo: High Wind)
The Boom Lock consists of a trolly, mounted at a conventional crane that grabs the hoisting block of the rotor blade. Afterwards it is docked for a safer lift. (Photo: High Wind)

High Wind NV has announced the start of the commercialisation of its Boom Lock. The innovative crane boom allows the installation of all wind turbine components in wind speeds of up to 15 m/s.

The Boom Lock is a system that is mounted on an offshore crane, and is designed to control the movement of the crane hook and the payload in such a way that installation time can be drastically reduced. This will result both in considerable cost savings under the form of reduced cost for installation vessels, installation crews and related costs, as well as increased income due to earlier completion of the wind farms. Most importantly however, the use of the Boom Lock will increase safety during the installation of the wind turbines as the heavy payloads’ uncontrolled movements in windy conditions will be dramatically reduced.

The first Boom Lock was completed in January, installed on GeoSea’s Neptune, and has undergone its final performance trials last weekend. During these tests in stormy conditions at the REBO site in the port of Ostend the Boom Lock actually outperformed the design specs by keeping a 6 MW turbine blade steady in wind gusts of up to 20 m/s. These tests were witnessed by different independent parties, including marine warranty surveyors and turbine manufacturers. Furthermore the movements of the hoisted loads were monitored and recorded by engineers of the University of Leuven, allowing High Wind quantifiable and undisputable proof of the Boom Lock benefits.

Johan Heiler, General Manager of High Wind, said: “Up to now rotor blade installation was more like the attempt of trying to put a key in a door while drunk. This is now a thing of the past thanks to Boom Lock. We are very pleased to have it ready for our first client at the start of the new installation season”. GeoSea, which is together with PMV, SBE, G&G International and Sarens part of the High Wind consortium, will use the Boom Lock in its future wind turbine installation and maintenance projects. The system is available for all contractors, crane operators and other interested parties as of now.

Katharina Garus

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