World’s biggest offshore wind farm
Walney Extension, off the UK coast, is the first wind farm to employ turbines rated at over 8 MW (actually 8.25 MW). The larger turbines (40 of 87 in total) have 80-meter blades, a swept area of 21,124 m2, and each one rises 220 meters above the seabed. The monopiles weigh up to 970 tons each, and have a diameter of over 8 meters. Luckily, lifting technology is keeping pace.
For the Walney Extension SAL Heavy Lift transported these giant monopiles from Germany and rather than conventional steel or polyester options, decided to use Gleistein DynaOne® slings made with Gleistein DynaOne rope with Dyneema® SK78 fiber designed to lift up to 325 tons each.
The Gleistein slings as configured for SAL weighed five times less than a polyester sling of the same strength and show less than 1% elongation at work load. In total, the lifting configuration was capable of lifting 1,300 tons, comfortably exceeding the 970-tons weight of the monopiles. Further plusses included being soft, making them less likely to damage whatever was being lifted, while a replaceable protection sleeve over the rope, also made with Dyneema, extends the slings’ service life and speeds up rope inspections.