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Delegates are invited to meet and discuss with the poster presenters in this topic directly after the session 'On- and off-shore installation technologies' taking place on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 at 11:15-12:45. The meet-the-authors will take place in the poster area.

Sergei Korzh , Ukraine
Sergei Korzh (1) F P Ruslan Korzh (1)
(1) innovator, Kiev, Ukraine

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Use of heavy helicopters for replacing units and assembling wind turbines


Some time ago It was developed the solution how existing large helicopters could replace key heavy units
on installed wind turbines without use of traditional cranes. Further development of this technology could make
it possible of full assembling of wind turbines by helicopter. For that wind turbines should be modified in order to
make their structure by modules with weight of up to 20 ton.


First target for development the technology and related means was selected replacement of blades,
where new technology could provide substantial benefits. Key requirement is that technology
should be applied on existing fleet of wind turbines with existing blades. Main benefits of use of new technology
are reducing costs and time of replacement. There is no need for large cranes, their mobilization, assembling
and disassembling. Other targets for replacing operations with helicopters are gearboxes and generators.

Main body of abstract

Key technical solutions of new technology lies in the area of attachment devices which enables helicopter to
disassemble and assemble wind turbine units and handle them on/from transportation means. Technology of
replacing blades use two devices - special rigging device and device for handling and transporting blades.
Rigging device enable to capture blades without preparation them on-site. Assembling operations by helicopter
requires better maneuverability of existing helicopters at low speed and suspension regimes. There is another
technical solution which would enable helicopter to have better accuracy in horizontal direction.
New technology will provide new opportunities for organization of repair operations which requires replacing
heavy units. For example, it would be no need for transporting blades exactly to the wind turbine, which is
located at mountainous area. Several kilometers between the road network and wind turbine foundation
(lets say – «last mile» of supply chain) are most complicated for transporting long and heavy units and
could be omitted – helicopter could easy and quickly deliver the unit by air. The question of modifying the
design of wind turbines in order to make them from modules of 15-20 ton is obviously wide and complicated.
It is worthwhile to study this issue with wind turbine designers. Some units, such as tower sections, seem to
be less complicated for modification. Others, such as hubs, could be a hard nut to crack. But if new technology
could bring substantial benefits, the task is quite valuable to start think on it.


Assembling wind turbines by helicopter could substantially change the whole scope of wind farm development
by excluding construction of special roads for transporting long and heavy turbine modules. Especially if wind
farm is constructed at complicated mountainous or coastal terrain. It will bring new opportunities for locating
wind farms on areas with higher wind potential which could result in higher load factor. Another types of
benefits are reducing costs and time of wind farm construction. This could become substantial driving force
for developing wind farms on new type of sites

Learning objectives
Development of wind turbines towards growth of unit power resulted in growth of their weight and, specific
weight of wind turbines per kW of installed power. Given that there are many models of wind turbines for
onshore installation, it could be good to enforce optimization of model range, standardization of structure
and units, and making turbines from models with reasonable weight, which then could be transported and
assembled by helicopters