Mammoet’s new onshore wind crane is a step closer to reality



As onshore wind hub heights grow beyond the reach of conventional crawler cranes, Mammoet is gearing up to launch its new WTA lifting system - allowing theoretically infinite hub heights and paving the way towards emissions-free turbine erection. 

The WTA assembles wind turbine generators by attaching directly to the tower itself, using a series of clamps to self-assemble and then climb to each lift location. It assembles tower sections, hubs and nacelles, and has a capacity of 150t.   

According to Mammoet, the concept means the WTA can keep working when conventional crawler cranes can’t. It operates in wind speeds up to 20m/s, reducing downtime during construction and extending the build season. 

As the WTA has a significantly reduced footprint and is much smaller and lighter than any type of crawler crane, it actively lowers the need for groundwork on site. Pads can be smaller, and ground pressure requirements are lessened - maxing out at the 15t/m2 typically needed for assist cranes. 

The system’s small size means quicker and more cost-effective mobilization. While a conventional crawler crane can require up to 50 truckloads to reach site, the WTA gets there with nine. 

With no boom laydown requirement, fewer components and a lower total weight, the WTA is also faster from pad to pad. Relocation time is reduced by approximately 50%, compared to using crawler cranes, shaving weeks off wind farm construction schedules. 

Powered entirely by electricity, it also opens the door for a 100% emissions-free journey from factory to first Megawatt – with transport to site via electric or hydrogen-powered truck, on site manoeuvres via ePPU-enhanced SPMT and carbon-free WTA lifting. 

The WTA system is now design-ready and can be ready to enter the market during Q2 2023.