Nick Rasper / Service Technician / ITH
Every once in a while, the bolts that hold a wind turbine and tower together must be checked for tightness. Vibration and tower swaying has a way of loosening the occasional one or two nuts. But rather than lug a 100-lb hydraulic pump around a wind farm, which may or may not have power readily available, a better idea might be a battery-powered hydraulic pump that weighs only 14.8 kg (33 lb) with oil, yet is still capable of generating up to 1,500 bar.
The battery-powered unit, called MicroMax, can tighten and loosen bolts at sites off the power grid, such as wind farms under construction, in offshore job sites, and at jobs where space is limited, such as turbine nacelles.
The design from ITH measures about 340-mm long, 250-mm wide, and 450-mm tall and has an optional backpack transporter, a durable carrying system, for easier transport to remote locations.
The 28V lithium-ion battery, rated for 3 Ah, is enough to check a few dozen bolts. That number really depends on how much pressure the pump must generate to get the force required, which also depends on the tool being used. Swapping out a drained 2-lb battery for a charged one lets work begin again. The state of charge is indicated by four LEDs on the battery.
The unit works just like a conventional 120V plug-in pump. Hoses are standard as are the working tools.
A large 3-in diameter pressure gage is easy to read, and the reservoir holds 3 liters total of which 1.5 liters is usable oil. The unit comes with an extra battery and charger. Other models in the series run on 90 to 110V and are available with remote control and manual shutoff valves.
For a digital copy of the entire June issue of Windpower Engineering & Development, click here.