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Submarine Cable Installation In Wind Turbines Made Easy Even At Great Water Depths

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Submarine Cable Installation In Wind Turbines Made Easy Even At Great Water Depths
Submarine Cable Installation In Wind Turbines Made Easy Even At Great Water Depths

Video: Submarine Cable Installation In Wind Turbines Made Easy Even At Great Water Depths

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"More of metal" - with this slogan, AMS from Elkenroth works successfully for different industries: drive-in counters for fast food restaurants, the cladding at the ICE long-distance train station at Frankfurt Airport, display stations in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, ventilation system in the buffet area of ​​the motorway service area Reinhardshain the A5 or the pillar system in Casino Bad Kissingen are well-known examples of the creativity and expertise of the Westerwald company.

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When Stefan Imhäuser took over the company in the early 1970s, the former welding machine manufacturer AMS had four employees. The company was gradually aligned to the production of sheet metal cladding for the areas of interior fittings and facades. Thomas Imhäuser has been running the company since 2014: “From the beginning, we saw our focus and core competence in the optimal combination of form and function. We just have fun knocking things out and surprising our customers with sometimes unusual solutions.”AMS - Architectural Metal Systems is therefore not a mass-produced company, but a problem solver down to lot size 1.

You feel the desire to dare to innovate

Today AMS employs more than 120 people in an office and production area of ​​8500 m². "In the past few years, the environmental technology division has focused on air purification and recycling containers," says Imhäuser. "In this area in particular, we want to continue to focus on research and development and expand our portfolio."

The most recent example is a new type of "cable hang-off", which can be used to simplify the assembly of heavy cables in offshore wind turbines. "The idea for this came from Frank Steiner, Managing Director of SEK Engineering GmbH," explains Dr. Ralf Polzin from the Technology Institute for Metal & Engineering, or Time for short. As a technology service provider for medium-sized companies in the region, Time went in search of a well-versed and creative manufacturer and established contact with AMS because "here you can feel the competence and desire to dare to innovate."

Additional information on the subject of time - the supporter factory for companies in the border triangle

In order to support small and medium-sized companies in the border triangle of Rhineland-Palatinate / NRW / Hesse with research and development, the Technology Institute for Metal & Engineering (Time) was founded on knowledge from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the district of Altenkirchen, the University of Siegen and the Chamber of Crafts Koblenz founded. The time experts work with modern software e.g. B. for CAD and simulations using the finite element method. The machine park is equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.

Time has two main areas of activity: Design / Simulation / Analysis for metal, ceramic and plastic components deals with dimensioning and design, structural and modal analysis, topology optimization of components and system components. In the field of welding, Time deals with application-related research and further development of many welding processes, especially process optimization and mechanization and automation. Time also offers support for many engineering issues.

Light sheet metal solution instead of heavy cast construction

The hang-off solutions that have been common up to now consist of heavy cast parts, which are cumbersome to install underneath the machine house of a wind turbine. "On the other hand, we rely on a pluggable system made of relatively thin and light sheet metal components," explains Thomas Imhäuser. In order to achieve an optimum here, AMS used Time's competence in the finite element method FEM. This resulted in an almost filigree solution made of sheet metal in thicknesses from 8 mm to 20 mm. The AMS hang-off weighs only 15 kg and can still safely guide and fix heavy, armored cables up to 150 mm in diameter during assembly and later operation. "In tests, our system safely withstood loads of up to 5 t," says Imhäuser.

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"We also thought ahead in terms of costs and resources," emphasizes the 47-year-old managing director, emphasizing the creativity of his team: "After the installation phase, various parts of our hang-off can be dismantled and used in other systems. The time factor is particularly important when it comes to offshore assembly,”says the mechanical and welding engineer from conversations with industry experts.

Submarine cable installation can be planned better

Handling with the AMS hang-off is well thought out: the armored medium-voltage cable is plugged through the compact hang-off from AMS (400 mm diameter, 300 mm height) before installation. With the help of claws, the cable is held securely when pulling it up into the transition piece without having to open the insulation and reinforcement. "After tests, we assume that this temporary condition will last for up to three months," says Imhäuser. During this period, the cable can be opened and the armoring can be permanently clamped in the hang-off. "The submarine cable installation and its installation in the system can thus be better planned, for example in relation to the weather situation at sea and the availability of transport and crane ships." After the prototype has proven its functionality and load capacity in extensive tests,should the approval now z. B. via Germanischer Lloyd. (sh)

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* Dipl.-Ing. Walter Lutz works as a freelance specialist journalist at PRservice in Haiger

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