Wind turbines at sea are getting bigger and higher. The Rotterdam startup Tetrahedron has developed an innovative crane that makes existing lifting platforms suitable for installation of this new generation of wind turbines.

In order to meet the large demand for wind energy, wind turbines at sea are rapidly increasing in size and height. Existing jack-up vessels, so-called lifting platforms, will soon no longer be able to lift high enough to reach the highest parts of the turbines.

Owners of jack-up vessels are hard at work looking for opportunities to give their vessels upgrades in order to be able to lift higher and thus keep their vessel relevant. If they cannot grow sufficiently, their ships will become unusable for offshore wind energy within a few years.

Tetrahedron’s crane can make existing jack-up vessels suitable for installing the ten to twenty megawatt wind turbines. The Tetrahedron crane is significantly lighter (especially on the side of the load), such that approximately 25 per cent more crane capacity can be used for actually lifting the load. This advantage can be used to upgrade the lifting capacity at height on an existing jack-up-vessel or boost the capacity on a newbuilt jack-up-vessel.

Tetrahedron’s design can also give an existing crane a lifting height upgrade without loss of lifting capacity. In addition, the crane is not longer once in its stowed position, so it still fits on the jack-up vessel while sailing.

To further develop the innovation, Tetrahedron has received an investment from proof-of-concept fund UNIIQ.

Picture by Tetrahedron.