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Exchange operation at height requires flexibility and coordination

Friday, 03 September 2021 10:03

In August of this year, Certion was entrusted with the exchange of a high-voltage transformer in a machine chamber at a height of 105 m by one of our collaboration partners. What are the preliminaries for such an operation?

 Why this exchange?

The high-voltage transformer (with a weight of approx. 5.5 tons and a volume of approx. 4 m3) had broken-down and could no longer be repaired on-site. In order to reduce downtime, our partner had made urgent arrangements for the replacement of the high-voltage transformer. Certion, working with our partner and the crane company, was engaged to carry out this operation. What does such an operation involve?

1. Putting in place an HSE and crane plan

We discussed the project with the customer and provided a cost estimate. In consultation with our partners, we then drew up a project-specific HSE plan (Health, Safety and Environment) as well as fine-tuning the crane plan with the parties involved.

2. How critical are weather conditions?

We do not start an operation until we are sure that it can be carried out safely and correctly, so in the event of an adverse weather forecast, we will postpone our planning.

3. Signing for acknowledgement

Once we arrive at the location, we start with a 'kick-off' meeting, during which we discuss matters such as the planning, possible risks and special points for attention. All parties involved must attend this meeting at the project location and sign the record of all matters discussed. Clarity from the outset reduces the risk of any problems that might subsequently arise, especially in urgent cases.

4. Communication is essential

On the day of the exchange - hoisting day - the crane will be at the ready. The attending specialists from the collaborating parties will hold another start work meeting to make sure that everybody knows what is going to happen and to make clear the tasks and responsibilities of all those involved. The walkie-talkies / radios are tested for proper functioning, choice of channel etc.

5. Removal of the roof

First, we lift a section of the roof off the wind turbine so we can recover the part in question. After that, we can clear the space and the replacement component can be hoisted into position. We then re-assemble the roof, which is the last part of the hoisting operation.

6. Packing up, testing and commissioning

The crane can now be 'packed up', which means that it is slided in, disassembled and made ready for transport. The location surrounding the wind turbine can then be restored to its original condition. Meanwhile, we connect the component inside the wind turbine. When everything is ready (properly tested and functioning as it should be) we commission the wind turbine to our partner.


Yet another signal operation with a satisfied client.

Exchange operation at height requires flexibility and coordination