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Market innovation for maintenance

Eickhoff up-tower crane creates ­completely new options for gearbox servicing

Eickhoff Antriebstechnik launched an innovation in the field of gearbox servicing last year. Working with crane manufacturer KENZFIGEE, a solution was developed that enables gearbox repairs to be carried out up-tower, i.e. at the top of the wind turbine – something that would previously have been impossible.

At the heart of this market innovation is a three-tonne crane which is fixed to the main frame of the turbine using aids designed specifically for the application and can be installed on wind turbines with hub heights of up to 141 metres. It can be adapted to suit almost all multi-MW class turbines fitted with gearboxes. All the components required for the crane are stored in a 40-foot container, meaning that logistics are simple and only a normal truck is needed. Unlike mobile or crawler cranes, which are often difficult to access, this system is much faster to erect, thus reducing downtime and minimising the loss of income and logistics costs associated with repair work. 

Importantly, the system allows gearbox repairs to be carried out up-tower, which was previously unthinkable. Heavy gearbox components such as ­casings, ring gears and spur gears, or even entire gearbox stages, can now be replaced in situ. This enables operators to avoid switching out the entire gearbox, which makes many repairs much less expensive.

The system was launched at Hamburg WindEnergy and is now being trialled. Alongside servicing Eickhoff gearboxes, the system is also suitable for multi-brand deployment, e.g. repairs to competing gearboxes, as well as work on other components such as generators. The Eickhoff Antriebstechnik solution creates new opportunities for servicing gearboxes on wind turbines and will thus help to ensure cost-efficient wind turbine operation.

The Eickhoff service team will be happy to answer any questions you may have:

Eickhoff Antriebstechnik GmbH –
Service Department
Am Eickhoffpark 1, 44789 Bochum
Hotline: (+49) 234 975 2700
E-mail: gearbox@eickhoff-service.com

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