In this, the third of four articles, we will examine the rope access, work positioning and enclosed space entry capabilities of ActSafe Powered winches.
In wind energy, it is imperative that maintenance and construction personnel can reach their place of work and perform tasks as efficiently as possible to reduce work time and get tasks completed during available weather windows.
Powered ascenders allow easy, quick and efficient access to all areas of a wind turbine that have previously proven difficult to access. Although many tasks can be performed by alternate access methods such as access platforms, most areas of a wind turbine are more easily reached using a powered winch.
ActSafe Powered Ascenders have become the go to product for rope access technicians contracting to the wind energy industry. Powered Ascenders augment traditional rope access techniques to allow workers to reach areas of the wind turbine for blade inspection, repair and tower cleaning tasks.
Once ropes are established, it is equally viable to work from ‘bottom up’ as ‘top down’ which doubles the efficiency and speed of work. The reduction of physical effort means more actual work can be performed and the risk of accidents reduced with a subsequent reduction in fatigue. Technicians can descend to ground for welfare breaks and be back into position working within minutes saving crucial and costly down time.
Even where blade repair platforms are used, powered ascenders are being used as a primary means of access to the suspended platform, massively reducing down-time during welfare breaks. For work on the spinner the ability to descend to the place of inspection or repair and easily ascend back to the roof of the nacelle rather than continuing to descend to ground and climb back up via the tower represents an enormous saving in time, effort and reduction of fatigue, ultimately ensuring a better result.
The bottom line is more work done, in less time!