MacArtney develop automated technical concept for Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group

Tags: design engineering marine renewable energy service

MacArtney has secured an order from Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group to develop an automated concept for a HGT – Hub Generator Tightening Tool to improve mechanisation and reduce human interaction in wind turbine maintenance.

Historically humans have harnessed the power of the wind to sail their boats, grind their grain and more recently to generate electricity. Wind power has a long and ingenious history that is now being put to good use in our modern world. As we look to the future of our energy supply, offshore wind farms are becoming increasingly high tech and necessary in the pursuit of clean energy.

As more countries move towards renewable energy sources the need to streamline and mechanise the production and maintenance of wind turbines increases. MacArtney has supplied an automated technical concept to the Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group - a multinational power generation and electrical equipment manufacturing company. MacArtney has developed the concept for an automated tool for pre-tensioning and torquing the generator/hub bolts of a wind turbine. To be known as the HGT tool – Hub Generator Tightening tool.

The HGT tool consists of two parts – a Turner tool that creates the rotation of the generator and an automatic bolt tool for torquing. Prior to torquing each bolt, the hub/generator is positioned using an optical sensor system that ensures the correct location under the nacelle. The tightening of the bolts is then carried out in two stages.

The first stage is to initiate the fully automated process of rotating the generator and pre-tightening the bolts. During stage two of the bolt torquing sequence; all bolts are correctly torqued and stamped with a ‘Torque Approved’ mark to provide a reference for manual inspection, thus illustrating the bolts are correctly tightened. The automated process of the HGT tool reduces human exposure and thereby improves safety with the additional benefit of reducing labour hours.

Throughout this process, data is continuously accessible and presented in real time by the HMI control system. The torque process is thoroughly monitored throughout and logged in the quality control report.

This turnkey solution supplied to the Shanghai Electric Wind Power Group continues to develop MacArtney’s reputation as a full systems solution provider. With the ability to design, manufacture, install and service our products we are able to take MacArtney technical expertise from the drawing board to realisation.