ITI Energy, Aberdeen, Scotland, is funding a research and development program to create a new lifting device for the maintenance and construction of wind farms - the Orangutan.
The design concept for the device was developed by Oreada Ltd., an Aberdeen-based engineering firm. The technology, initially developed for onshore use, has the potential to be used for offshore applications as well, the company says. ITI Energy is investing up to 3 million euros to further develop the product.
Orangutan is made up of two friction clamps, connected by a hydraulic structure that allows caterpillar-like motion. It works by climbing the wind turbine tower while carrying whatever tooling package is required for the maintenance operation. It can be used for a variety of lifting jobs and can be operated remotely, the company adds.