With the number of works on wind turbines installation and maintenance increasing, the number of personnel injuries also increases. The number of cases of injury to the personnel of such companies in Russia alone exceeded one thousand and it continues to grow incrementally. Labour protection specialists do not seem to pay necessary attention to a process of working with bolted joints training, and whereupon, there have already been several cases of critical injury to personnel during assembly operations and regular maintenance of wind turbines over the past year. All these cases were associated with improper operation of equipment operating under high pressure. Pinched body parts, stripped bolted joints, etc. are the most common causes of the incident when working with bolting machines.
Information on ways of avoiding injuries and which methods are used by leading wind power industry companies is being shared by the director general of the HYTORC’s Russian representative office in the Wind parks development and building experience construction session at the ARWE 2019 International Forum on Renewable Energy, which is being held in Ulyanovsk from May 22-24.
HYTORC is also going to present the product innovation in the field of mobile service support for wind power companies at the Forum. Those are: a tool and a thrust washer able to provide a unique, and at the same time, the safest and most effective industrial solution for bolted joints in the wind power industry.
The battery-powered LITHIUM SERIES® II bolting machine is the latest breakthrough innovation in the bolted joints maintenance, created from scratch with improved durability, usability and functionality. The new tool incorporates the TorcSense® technology, the latest method of direct torque measurement and closed-loop control to provide reference bolting performance. The tool is retrofitted with a new 36V brushless electric motor which, being coupled with a more robust gearbox, is optimized to deliver increased strength and control in operating conditions of mobile service teams engaged in wind turbines maintenance. The user interface has been redesigned to provide intuitive access to all software controlled features via a high-resolution display. The LITHIUM SERIES II tool contains a wide array of data acquisition and advanced performance monitoring functions that set the standard for next-generation bolted joints maintenance. This lightweight 36-volt battery-powered tool with a torque capacity of up to 6900 N.m (~5000 ft-lbs) is the best solution for outfitting the wind energy companies’ service centers worldwide.
The second novelty presented by the company is the HYTORC’s thrust washer which completely eliminates the pinch points, significantly increasing the overall safety and operation speed. The outer surface of the reaction washer engages with the external drive of the tool and protects the operator from the impact of any moving parts. In addition, the precision machined surface reduces the bolt load change at the joint to improve accuracy and prevent loosening. The HYTORC backup washer locks the rear nut, preventing it from rotating, thus eliminating the need for a standby key. A thrust washer and a backup washer best fulfill the objectives when used together, which greatly simplifies bolt operation while improving operator safety and performance.