IHC Handling Systems, part of IHC Merwede, delivered a pile-guiding tool for installing 80 wind-turbine foundations at the Meerwind offshore wind-farm project in the German North Sea. The pile-guiding tool is part of an extensive package of handling and lifting equipment for the project. The package included a 700-t upending tool (Fig. 4) and the accompanying hydraulic-power packs. The windmill-foundation monopiles are lifted and positioned by the equipment more efficiently than previous methods. The foundation of these wind turbines consists of a monopile and a transition piece. The monopiles have an outer diameter of 5.500 m, an overall length of 64 m, and a maximum weight of 680 t. The transition piece connects the monopile to the mast of the wind turbine. The new pile-guiding tool replaced the commonly used upending bucket and guiding-and-positioning tool by combining two operations—tilting and positioning—into one piece of equipment. In doing so, it saves time during the installation process. In addition, less deck space is required and the tool is much lighter than previous equipment.
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