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Electric chain, manual hoist range gain traction in wind power sector

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Electric chain, manual hoist range gain traction in wind power sector

BECKER’S Kito electric chain and manual hoists have been designed for use in materials handling applications in industries as diverse as mining, construction, shipbuilding, food, beverage and pharmaceutical processing, manufacturing and general industry, as well as in chemical and petrochemical plants and, more recently, the wind power sector.

Rick Jacobs, Senior General Manager (SGM) for Consumables, Becker Mining South Africa said this equipment, which is manufactured in Japan, is well suited to demanding applications in wind turbines.

“Wind power, which is gaining popularity globally as a dependable source of renewable energy, is a growing business sector for our Kito range,” he said.

“While traditional coal-mining for energy production requires hoists that can operate safely in confined and dust-filled conditions underground, the available space in wind-farm nacelles (which house the drive train and other tower-top components) is also confined, but are often hundreds of metres above the ground and sea spray rather than dust, is usually the environmental hazard.

“The strictest safety standards are critical during the construction, maintenance and operation of wind turbines, which is why the use of dependable, industry-approved equipment must be correctly used, by properly-trained workers.”

Jacobs said specialists in the wind power sector have specified stringent requirements for hoists, including the need for their service life to be at least 20 years, to match that of most wind power generators.

“It is also important that hoists are able to deliver reliable operation in arduous environments, like corrosive coastal conditions and precarious mountainous areas.

“The robust Kito range, which meets – and exceeds – industry requirements, can be customised by Becker specialists to suit exact requirements of every wind turbine installation. Optional components include a radio remote control, foam hook protector and plain, geared or motorised trolleys.”

He said corrosion resistant, heat-treated Kito load chain is the only electroless Nickel plated chain available. Advantages include high uniform strength and lower wear than conventional load chains.

Kito standard ER2 electric chain wind hoists – with a maximum load capacity of 800 kg, a lifting height up to 150 m and 3 phase 400/690 operating voltages – are available from Becker with higher load capacities, greater lifting heights and special voltages on request.

Notable features of these wind hoists include an IP55 Index Protection rating to guard against the ingress of dust and water, a fan-cooled motor system for optimum cooling and a thermal overload limiter to prevent the motor from over-heating.

The aluminium die-cast body ensures a stable structure, and a friction clutch protects components that are subjected to stress against overloading. Added to this, are five or six pocket load sheaves, dependant on the product model, that ensure smooth operation.

Other important design features include a top hook or connector that can be easily assembled and disassembled for reliable suspension. The load hook pivots by 360⁰ to avoid kinking and twisting of the load chain. Internal connectors enable direct cabling for easy connection and helical gears reduce operating noise.

For enhanced safety, upper and lower limit switches stop the hook when the highest or lowest positions have been reached and an electromagnetic brake or a pull rotor brake ensure powerful braking, holding the load securely at all times.

Kito single-phase ED electric hoists, which are lightweight, weatherproof and corrosion resistant, are also suitable for use in wind turbines. “This robust series, with load capacities between 60 kg and to 480 kg, have an operating voltage of 1 PH 230 V/ 50 Hz and a lifting height up to 100 m.”

Other features include hook suspension, a high-performance mechanical brake with a friction clutch and single or dual lifting speeds up to 20.1 m/min.

Kito manual chain hoists are used in wind turbines to lift components to the machine room, during assembly and maintenance procedures. “These robust hand chain blocks offer load capacities up to 50 000 kg, while lever hoists safely move loads up to 9 000 kg. A major advantage of these compact manual chain hoists is they can be used in areas with limited space and in applications without electricity,” he said.

The extensive range of Kito hoists is available exclusively in Southern Africa from Becker Mining SA and a network distributors, which offer a technical advisory, repair, test and back up service.

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