Written by Javier Lanfranchi – Senior Sales Area Manager at Faccin
Wind Energy in the US
The US government has announced in March this year its plan to install 30 gigawatts—to power 10 million homes—of offshore wind capacity in US waters by 2030, creating in the process thousands of jobs for manufacturing first, and then installing, maintaining, and servicing hundreds if not thousands of offshore wind turbines.
Reaching 30 Gigawatt is a massive challenge since thousands of wind turbines will have to be built together with factories, dedicated ports, and ships to transport them and above all the infrastructure to connect them to the grid. Barriers to offshore wind development include technical challenges of project installation, mitigation of environmental impacts, and energy cost.
The first factory of this kind is being built at the Delaware River in Southern New Jersey where 400-foot-long, 40-foot-wide monopiles will be fabricated to be installed in the Atlantic seabed.
Heavy wind turbines components
Support structure costs such foundation costs – are substantially higher for offshore due to high water depth and technique of construction. The foundation cost for a standard turbine built onshore costs around 4 to 6 percent of the total cost while a similar foundation built offshore costs 21 percent.
By launching new technologies and through optimisation of the current technologies and design processes, costs of foundations can be reduced. The monopile is the most common foundation model due to its strong design, mass production and simplicity of installation.
The monopile has a high level of standardization and production in the supply chain, the existing design can be enhanced and made cheaper and technically cost-effective by adapting its geometric parameters such as length, diameter and thickness hence its weight to the basic turbine’s frequency and thickness and fatigue loads.
To form these thick steel plates into columns that will be the foundation of a great source of electricity requires the right tools to do it; powerful bending technology and automation systems.
Plate Rolling Technologies
Faccin is specialized in manufacturing machines for wind power and specifically for wind tower foundations as monopiles, jackets and tripods together with their transition pieces.
Offshore wind tower foundations made by bending heavy duty steel plates 14’/4.2m wide, 6”/15cm thick into 40’/12m diameters, require strong, powerful bending machines capable of achieving tight tolerances of roundness and able to perform this repetitive task 24/7.
The company has supplied top players of offshore foundations with its optimized HAV machines, 3-roll with variable geometry, ideal for rolling and calibrating cylindrical and conical shapes.
In addition, the 4-roll models 4HEL and 4HEP, are the ideal machines when high productivity is required by the wind tower manufacturer, also in their optimized heavier versions for the construction of thick cones and cans for monopiles, jackets and TPs.
Must Have Features
A rolling machine for foundations must work non-stop 24/7 and must be highly reliable, assuring minimum downtime. The oversized structure and components, the efficient cooling system together with the centralized lubrication system make the Faccin 4HEL and 4HEP series the most steadfast rolling machines on the market. The company is widely known for the quality of its products, continuously supplying machines that perform what has been promised under heavy loads.
Reliability must go hand to hand with speed and accuracy, and the job must be stress-free for the operator. Thanks to the Siemens PGS-Ultra CNC it is possible to control automatically not only the machine but also the handling system.
A good rolling also means time saving in the subsequent steps of the wind tower assembly and welding. Faccin machines with their mammoth forces can perform a top-quality rolling and pre-bending of the plates supplying perfect rolled cones to the welding stations.
The Ultimate Rolling System
Rolling hundreds of wind tower sections per month can be accomplished with Faccin’s Wind Tower Automation System which combines:
- powerful super-sized Faccin plate rolling machine
- strong side support with clamps that permits the correct alignment of the plate before tack-welding
- sturdy top support for conical sections covering the full width of the plate
- totally motorized feeding table with alignment device to quickly prepare the plate for rolling
- fully programmable Siemens CNC designed to automate the most complex rolling projects.
Solutions for foundation manufacturers
The foundation business is very competitive and like in all the series productions, the challenge is to enhance the cycle in order to cut production time and be competitive. The company’s rollers, thanks to the groundbreaking “Faccin Advantage Package”, have a super-fast hydraulic system and high power fitted in order to reach the floor-to-floor production time of 20min per rolled section.
The machines’ geometry and controls are planned to reach the tightest tolerances and to minimize the re-rolling percentage of the cones that is a common challenge of the foundation manufacturers.
Join us in WIND EUROPE – Electric City, Copenhagen. We’ll be at stand C1-A11, plan to stop by or email us at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.
Faccin, a brand of the Faccin Group, is proud of producing machines that contribute to the green energy production and believes in the future of the industry. Throughout its Wind Division, experienced engineers ensure a smooth interface with the different areas of the company with the aim of creating technologically advanced solutions for manufacturers of wind towers, wind foundations, wind tower flanges and wind tower door frames.
For more information, please visit our website www.faccin.com
Note: The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Offshore WIND.