Over the past decade, land-based wind turbines have dramatically increased in both height and overall size. Technology advancements have resulted in sophisticated blade designs that are longer and lighter than ever before. This, along with the manufacturing cost reduction associated with economies of scale, has decreased the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind turbines, making them a more attractive energy solution.
The encouraging developments in the wind turbine industry have created logistical challenges in transporting this oversized equipment from manufacturing facilities to installation locations. Moving a 250-foot-tall wind turbine is a significant and expensive undertaking that requires detailed planning to accomplish in an efficient manner.
With up to 10% of a wind project’s capital outlay allocated to transportation, wind turbine manufacturers are extremely conscious about streamlining equipment delivery. This cost is so significant that the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has reported U.S. manufacturers are trying to locate facilities as close to the ultimate delivery point as possible to reduce logistics expenses as well as minimize the risk of equipment damage during transport.
In order to protect equipment from unpredictable environmental hazards during transport, Transhield has developed equipment covers manufactured from technologically advanced materials that deliver enhanced protection against the harshest weather conditions. Custom fitted and easily installed, Transhield wind energy covers shrink to provide a snug fit for enhanced protection from dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can damage equipment and require costly repairs.
Longer turbine blades, heavy nacelles, and massive tower sections required to construct today’s high-tech wind turbines are frequently classified as “super loads” by transportation authorities. In order to move these loads, it takes close coordination between the manufacturer, supplier, and transportation professionals to ensure safe and effective transportation. These parts also require more sophisticated cover systems than those used in the past.
“Take, for example, the tower sections. These parts cannot be shipped as one unit, so they are shipped in sections, and are basically open on both ends unless covered for storage and transportation,” says Matt Peat, VP of Sales and Marketing at Transhield. “We can put a cover on those ends, or any large parts for that matter, and shrink it down tight for transport. The result is a clean and damage-free product upon arrival to the farm.”
Bolstered by strong wind resources and support for green energy solutions, the United States is the global leader in the wind turbine industry. For less windy regions such as the Northeast, Southeast, and West, taller towers and longer blades allow the more powerful winds at higher altitudes to be captured for power generation. To use these resources, we first must transport the wind turbines.
Transhield has been innovating advanced equipment covers to protect industrial, marine, and military equipment from road debris, corrosion, moisture, mildew, UV rays, and general surface damage since 1994. With our high-tech test lab run by an experienced and dedicated engineering team, we have improved fabric technology and continue to innovate improved solutions to protect all kinds of equipment from the harshest of environments.
Ready to learn more about how Transhield equipment covers can solve a significant portion of your logistics problems? Visit us online at Transhield-USA.com to learn more about our technologies, and to contact our team of equipment cover professionals. Also, stay tuned for the second installment of our two-part series on the wind energy sector!