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Anchor cages for wind turbines: A new ready-made solution from AH Industries

Comments Off on Anchor cages for wind turbines: A new ready-made solution from AH Industries Corporate, DDM

Over the years, AH Industries has delivered an increasing number of foundation solutions for major WTG producers in the Asian market.

Now, we are extending our customer base to include installations in Europe and in North America – and our solutions include both anchor cage parts and cages shipped in sections.

The global wind industry is one of the main markets for AH Industries and our three business units: Site Solutions, Manufacturing and Industrial Solutions. “This setup with three independent business units gives us a very strong position in the manufacture and servicing of wind turbine components worldwide,” says Thomas O. Kristensen, Head of Business Development at AH Industries.

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“We have our Site Solutions to provide lifting equipment for erection of new turbines and servicing of turbines in operation, we have our Manufacturing Solutions unit which handles serial production of components for new unit wind turbines, and our Industrial Solutions business unit can take care of project production orders, service and prototyping. This is quite unique in the world of machining, and it allows us to develop and offer total solutions for all players in the wind industry.”

One example of this is our production of anchor cages as container-shipped kits.

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Keeping wind turbines upright

Anchor cages are critical components in most on-shore wind installations. They form the reinforcement core of the turbine’s foundation and must be able to withstand and distribute into the foundation all dynamic and static forces developed once the turbine is installed and is in operation.

Quite substantial forces, too, as modern wind turbines of 2 or 3 MW can reach hub heights of more than 100 meters and have rotors with diameters exceeding 120 meters. At the foundation, the largest towers are more than 5 meters in diameter and are mounted on the foundation by 200 bolts or even more; bolts which are part of the anchor cage itself.

AH Industries now offer wind turbine producers and contractors the possibility of getting anchor cages as a ready-made kit solution including bolts, anchor ring and flanges– delivered on-site in containers or shipped as a just-in-time solution.

Segmented rings with proven strength

In the US, contractors have a tradition of installing anchor cages as complete units. But with wind turbines growing ever bigger, the challenges of logistics and transport grow with them. Hauling an anchor ring with a diameter of 5 meters or more is neither very practical or very economic.

At AH Industries, we have begun offering our anchor cages as segmented rings instead – we deliver the foundation rings in e.g. five segments of 72 degrees of circle each. And there are no worries over strength – in fact, segmented rings are just as strong as complete rings, once they are installed in the turbine foundation.

EN 1090-1 in place

As the anchor cages form part of the combined structure of the wind turbine, the production of the cages must comply with the EN 1090-1 standard for structural steel construction. AH Industries has this certification in place – as Thomas O. Kristensen explains: “With this certification in place, and a strong product on offer, we can give contractors and OEMs a solution which is superior in terms of logistics and installation time. In the US, we are up against traditional ways of doing things, but we can show clearly that our solution is far more competitive and just as good in terms of structural strength.”

Right now, AH Industries is receiving several orders for anchor cages with more on the way.

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