Load Sensing Hydraulic Power Unit for Tower Erection

Power generation by wind is being revolutionized using the Venturi effect to accelerate wind energy around a tower into specially designed turbines. Optiwind, a Connecticut company, has pioneered this new technology using a single tower with three foundation points anchoring the triangular section to its base. The tower is erected in one piece from horizontal to vertical using two of its triangular points as pivots. Two 13" bore double acting hydraulic cylinders, attached between additional foundation points and a ginpole structure fixed part way along the tower, require a combined 440 tons of force to swing the tower upright.

Advance Motion Control was commissioned to design and build the hydraulic power unit to perform this critical operation. Craig Goodsell, Applications Manager for AMC, undertook the project and saw the greatest challenge as maintaining the speed of cylinder extension at all stages of raising and lowering the tower. A Sauer Danfoss load sensing piston pump and ratio-metric valve was used in conjunction with a high accuracy synchronizing flow divider to move both cylinders equally.

An integrated radio transmitter and receiver control unit allows the operator to stand in the most advantageous position during the process. The transmission handset incorporates a progressive trigger which has been programmed to vary the speed of the cylinders' 9" diameter rods between 1" and 7" per minute.

The diesel driven hydraulic power unit is one of a series of larger custom products being offered by AMC as part of the expansion program laid out by parent company, Devine Hydraulics, Inc. Small to medium power units are already available to web browsers at www.amcct.com. The drop down menus allow the user to configure the unit of their choice, get a firm price and order the unit with a two to three day dispatch period.

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