Nord-Lock Group, together with c1 Connections BV and Heerema Marine Contractors, have made an innovative breakthrough in enabling faster and safer wind turbine installations. The three companies now provide a reliable fastening solution for the energy sector with the introduction of the C1 Wedge Connection™.
As wind turbines get bigger, in increasingly harsh environments or on floating platforms, conventional bolted L-flange connections are reaching their capacity limits and are complex to design, install, and maintain. The C1 Wedge Connection™, developed by C1 Connections, is a disruptive fastening technology that can deliver the high capacity needed for the new generation of wind turbines.
Turbine towers can be aligned to the foundations without personnel, as the C1 Wedge Connection features a remotely actuated, instant quick connection for a fast and safe release from the crane hook. After this, operators can then enter safely, push in the fasteners and apply the final preload using handheld Boltight™ hydraulic tensioners.
Traditional L-flange connections are also exposed to saltwater corrosion, whereas the C1 Wedge Connection is designed so the most critical parts stay dry, thus mitigating corrosion. During a successful offshore test with Heerema, C1 Connections demonstrated how this solution enables a safe disconnection of the tower from a grillage on a barge.
A joint press release from Nord-Lock and Heerema confirmed how “the alignment and quick connection of the tower was successfully performed without any personnel below the suspended load. The C1 Wedge Connection features pre-installed fasteners, and only lightweight tools are needed to finalise the connection”.
“Prior research and testing have demonstrated that the C1 Wedge Connection delivers a very high fatigue and ultimate capacity. The collaboration with Heerema has allowed us to demonstrate offshore that we can make installation much safer and faster, which are key benefits the entire industry can benefit from,” says Jasper Winkes, managing director, C1 Connections BV.
Christophe Cuypers, Nord-Lock Group Tensioning Key Account Manager, says “I am extremely pleased that Nord-Lock Group can support this innovation with the design and testing of custom Boltight hydraulic tensioners - used to accurately pre-tension the C1 Wedge Connection,” adds Christophe Cuypers, Nord-Lock Group tensioning key account manager.
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