With the world’s wind industry booming, new and better logistics solutions are needed to guarantee fast on-site installation of vital components.
Over the years AH Industries has developed a smart way of producing, packaging and delivering steel parts for tower foundations directly on site – as a readymade, timesaving kit.
When constructing foundations for wind turbines, huge forces need to be tamed. A modern wind turbine sweeps an area many times the size of a football field, and all the forces from the wind that are absorbed through the nacelle, tower and finally the foundation are quite impressive.
These forces need to be directed into the ground and to absorb the different types of loads inherent in the entire system – and this requires a very unique design. Contractors build big concrete foundations with anchor rings and bolts that are both strong and flexible, so that the tower can operate without suffering damage.
AH Industries has delivered systems of anchor rings and foundation bolts for very large wind turbines for many years. The manufacturing of the components usually takes place at the AH Industries facilities in Ningbo, China, from which the Australian and US markets are served, or from Ribe, Denmark, from which the adjacent markets are served.
As a unique feature the entire tower foundation can be delivered ready to install directly on site – in much the same way as you get a piece of furniture flat-packed and ready to assemble at home.
“We have decades of experience of manufacturing foundation components for wind turbines, and for delivering comparable large foundation components to the cement industry,” says Knud Andersen, CEO of AH Industries. “But with the projected growth in wind installations world-wide and the ever-increasing size of these projects, contractors need a fast and safe way of constructing foundations on-site without too many man-hours involved.
We have that solution ready for them. We can deliver just the right amount of parts on site packed for easy access and at the precise moment when the parts are needed. This makes a huge difference, because contractors can be sure to stick to their plans and to deliver the project to the end customers on time, as agreed.”
On-time delivery anywhere in the world
The steel parts of a tower foundation normally consist of a set of circular flanges that are held together by meter-long, extremely strong and flexible foundation bolts. The concrete is cast and the tower mounted on the foundation.
The steel allows the tower to flex with the wind – too stiff a construction, and the foundation will crack or the tower collapse. Therefore, real steel experience is needed when manufacturing such components.
But equally important is the logistics involved. Knud Andersen explains: “It’s a question of just-in-time delivery on site. This is absolutely crucial, because an installation team with nothing to do just costs a fortune for the contractor.
Therefore all components must arrive precisely on time and ready to be installed. We can deliver that through our dedicated logistics setup and in-house key production processes, no matter where the installation takes place.”