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Taking it in Stride, XCMG XCA5000 Crane Overcame Obstacles to Wind Turbine Hoisting Operations

With the slowly rising wire rope, a 62-ton wind turbine is hoisting steadily to the height of 85 meters above the ground, and fitting into its exact place within an elevated bay, marking XCMG XCA5000’s successful completion of its lifting operations at a Chongqing wind farm in southwestern China.

With a total investment of USD 170 million and being equipped with 55 direct-driven permanent magnet generating units of 2 megawatt each, Huaneng Wind Farm has a total installed capacity of 110 MW, the largest one of its kind in the whole metropolitan region of Chongqing.

According to the project leader, XCA5000 cranes undertook all the hoisting operations on narrow operating sites and steep slopes across the wind farm, especially the installation of the last wind turbine, which is, indeed, a huge challenge. Braving the strong wind and with the assistance of resident service staff of XCMG, the crane’s operators performed a sequence of expertly and orderly operations: super lift, outrigger setting-up and main machine assembly.

On a slip of some 600 s.q.m. newly-carved clearing on the hilltop of over 3,000 meters above sea level, XCMG XCA5000 crane is hoisting easily the 68-ton tower barrel of 22 meter width at the bottom into the air against the wind, nudging the barrel deftly over to meet the preinstalled bolts on the base, and then, dropping the slugs linger slowly and steadily to land it firmly and accurately onto the base.

The hoisting of more than 100 meter-long, huge wind blades is the key part of this operation. The 16m/s wind speed at the time (the maximum critical value for the operating conditions), the Golden Wind 2.0 tower mast of 85 meters in height and the wind blades of 62 tons in weight posed a stern test to the crane. 

The XCMG XCA5000 crane’s operator gave a vivid description of the operation later: On September 10, it was raining heavily and the wind was coming in gusts when the XCA5000 crane rushed to the construction site on the top of the hill. The 10 kilometer-long bumpy road, more than 20 corners of near 90 degrees and 30 stretches of slope of not less than 30 gradients are really a huge challenge to a large mobile crane. This treacherous circumstance imposed very demanding requirements on the braking performance of the chassis, the reliability of maneuvering system and the safety of moving along slopes.

The crane trudged along on its uphill journey as originally scheduled. Under the guidance of XCMG’s resident service engineer, he continued to drive on, getting the hands-on experience of its brand-new feature for the first time: the two-motor drive system where superstructure-mounted engines provide robust power to the chassis, and admiring secretly at its user friendliness to its driver, its technological sophistication and its ease with which it overcame each obstacle that would otherwise seem to be insurmountable.

Being a state-of-the-art hoisting equipment with the largest tonnage in the world, XCA5000 crane has been widely used for installation of 3-3.6 mw wind turbines at the height of less than 110 meters above the ground, and also can satisfy demanding requirements in large-scale chemical engineering and major infrastructure projects.

When asked about the equipment, the Project Construction Supervisor commented with confidence: “We are assured at the excellent performance of XCMG cranes. It is a perfect lifting operation, and we are very satisfied with it. I am sure that in the future, rows of wind turbines will decorate the magnificent skyline. What a beautiful tourist landscape it will be! And I must say, XCMG’ devices play a great role in making it a reality.”

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