The first draft of new best practice guidelines for the safe transportation and erection of onshore wind turbines could be published before the end of January. The news follows the latest round of discussions between ESTA and the wind turbine manufacturers in Hamburg at the end of November.
The discussions are being lead by ESTA with the support of German association BSK, the crane manufacturers and VDMA Power Systems, the part of the German Engineering Federation whose members include the major turbine manufacturers.
Talks have been on-going for over a year as part of ESTA’s attempts to improve safety standards and onsite efficiency.
Safety concerns have been growing with the development of new, bigger turbines with greater hub heights, downward pressure on costs along the supply chain and the increasing use of hard-to-access sites with difficult ground conditions.
ESTA, FEM and VDMA Power Systems plan to produce a core best practice document, backed up by other more detailed technical guidance documents such as the FEM 5.016 Guideline – Safety Issues in Wind Turbine Installation and Transportation (EN – 2017).
“We have agreed the overall scope and content of the document, and we are now working on the detail,” said ESTA Director Ton Klijn. “There is still a lot to do, but we are optimistic that a first draft the new guidelines will be published very early in the New Year.”
The guidelines are expected to include subjects such as common dimensions and standards for access roads, contractual considerations for operating companies and the methods of calculating the ground bearing pressure and construction features for crane pads.