20/11/2012 - 18:22 pm

Verlinde hoist installed at French hydroelectric plant


SHEM (Société Hydro-Electrique du Midi) has placed an order with Meije, an integrator in the Europont network, for a gantry crane to handle hydroelectric turbines at the Capdenac plant in the south of France.

After 40 years of service, the No. 2 hydroelectric plant at Capdenac-Port has been modernised, and the replacement of three 2mW turbines has been a vital part of the project.

SHEM, of GDF Suez group, allocated more than €6m to carry out the work to modernise plant equipment, upgrade the installations and improve its environmental friendliness. Started in 2010, work will be finalised in 2013.

The modernisation is particularly focused on improving machine output and making better use of water from the River Lot. The new turbines will not require oil, so the risk of environmental pollution is eliminated.

Meije, a member of the Europont Verlinde network and integrator for Verlinde hoists and crane components, has dismantled the previous turbine handling gantry crane to replace it with a 17t capacity gantry crane designed to handle the newer but heavier turbines. It will be used to lift the turbines, set side by side, from the water and lay them on the trailer to be taken to the SHEM maintenance shop. Each turbine weighs 15t.

The end of the gantry crane can also be used as a crane jib to lift loads of up to 4t. It can also be used to remove the cofferdams, vertically inserted watertight partitions that close off the water inflow upstream of the sluice gates.

A radio controlled Verlinde Eurobloc VT4 wire rope hoist with load readout is part of the equipment. It integrates a two-speed hoist motor and a maintenance-free DC disc brake. Eurobloc VT4 is also fitted with a four-position limit switch (up, down, high position deceleration, reversed phase protection) and a load limiter as standard. The travelling motor offers variable speeds from 3 to 20m/min.

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