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Hydraulic cylinders in Wind Tower installations and maintenance

In the hydraulic tool world, we see Wind Energy as an emerging industry, with huge growth potential and less volatility. Winshaw’s experience helping wind tower installation companies has varied from supplying hydraulic pumps and hoses to manifolds and cylinders (a.k.a. rams or sometimes pancake rams). During tower installation, they are mostly utilized for post-tensioning the bolts in the concrete base. We have seen multiple setups, but usually they use a set of two rams like the model HLS302 with a “strong back” across or a single, large hollow ram like the model HHS603.

If two rams are used as a pair then we also supply the set with a manifold or “splitter” like an HM2 model 2 port manifold. Then by knowing the effective area of the ram(s), a calculation can be made to determine the amount of pressure which is needed to post-tension the bolt. In order to know the correct pressure is being achieved, we also supply a certified gauge. Hydraulic tensioners are also used in the operation to complete the installation of the tower flange on the foundation.

After the tower is installed and maintenance is required years later, we have supplied rams which are used for various jobs, including removing the gearbox from the shaft. In these instances, we have supplied large 100 ton rams like the HLS1002 model rams for their simple, brute strength. However we also have smaller rams like the HSS308 which has less capacity (32 tons), but has a longer stroke (8 inches).

Photo credit: JBS Energy Solutions

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