The concept behind Renewegy’s hydraulic tip-up is both simple and very complex. The simple idea was twofold: to eliminate the need for a crane to keep the operators on the ground and be free from numerous regulations related to working at heights; and to remove and re-use the high-value hydraulic system on multiple turbines installation–reusing the hydraulic system saves the customers thousands of dollars in unneeded equipment. The complex concepts comes in designing a system that is safe, effective system that has enough power to tip a 10000 lb tower and 1200 lb turbine head.
Renewegy uses a 7 HP hydraulic power unit and two 50-ton cylinders to move the massive, 100 foot tower. Renewegy technicians first connect the two upper tower sections, then terminate the electrical connections and attach the turbine head and blades prior to tipping up the turbine (read the full installation process here). The cylinders are attached to the gussets near the tower base that are held in place with specially designed pins and bearings. Once everything is in place, the operator raises the tower. The operator uses a dead-man controller to ensure that the tower can’t accidentally rise on its own when set on the ground. The tower may sway a little bit during erection, but the two cylinders keep the tower on a straight path.
Technicians then bolt the tower to the base in a specific pattern and continue their installation process.