Engineering company LiftWerx has developed an up-tower lifting device designed to lower a fully assembled wind turbine rotor and main shaft, negating the use of a conventional crane on the ground.
The RotorHook, which has a lifting capacity of 75 tonnes, was developed in partnership with turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa.
LiftWerx, based in North America and a member of the Netherlands-based Meemaken Group, intends to launch the device in the second quarter of 2019.
According to the company, the RotorHook is the largest up-tower lifting device to be developed in the wind energy O&M industry and can be mobilised to site for major corrective turbine repairs in three standard ISO containers.
“The RotorHook will drive down O&M costs, improve turbine uptime, increase safety and reduce the reliance on larger, more expensive traditional cranes,” said LiftWerx.
The company’s president Glen Aitken added: “Operationally, this device will perform lifts from within the nacelle that were previously unachievable and we are looking forward to progressing with the project and executing the first lifts in Colorado, USA.”
Siemens Gamesa director of North America Operations said: “We are excited to partner with LiftWerx because their technology will set a new standard for main bearing and generator exchanges.”