How to install equipment on a large windturbine tower
Denmark is famous for all the windturbines around the country. Almost 55% of our electricity comes from the wind. We have a lot of windturbines both on shore and off shore. Actually some of the largest offshore wind farms in the world are located around the coast of Denmark (http://www.dongenergy.com/en/our-business/wind-power/where-we-operate/anholt)
Everyone also knows the world largest windmill producer in the world, the danish company Vestas.
So what could be a better place to install UBNT equipment than on a windmill ? There's lots of them, they're large and they're everywhere ?
Typical danish countryside with windturbines….
The problem is that drilling a hole in the tower for a mount is NO GO.
Instead I got in contact with a company (it actually arises from Vestas) that sells these very strong magnets.
Their engineer created a special mount in aluminium for us.
Now we can install a lot of equipment on the windmills without drilling holes in the tower and breaking the sealing/painting.
You can contact the company here: Vlabwind
The special aluminium mount with magnets and an AF24 mounted (This tower is on the ground, why it's horizontal, not vertical)
Each magnet can hold 350 kg.... 6 in total is used for this special mount. 2 for each "foot"
We were only 2 persons trying it out, so no picture of the mount holding both of us. (We did test it, and the mount was rock solid. Didn't move at all...)
If you want to remove it all again, no problem. A special tool is used to remove the magnet...
Nothing to see when magnet is remove. Only a white clean spot :-)
Also cable trays will be installed with the help of smaller magnets.....
The magnets are versatile. You can use them several places as long as there's metal to mount them on....
I will post my first install in a windturbine when done. First we need the weather to be a little better here in Denmark. To cold at the moment....
Very interesting - I can see using these on steel water tanks as well…
Do the propeller blades of the turbine pass in front of any of the radio links at all, and if so, does this have any impact on the link? I have no idea how fast the blades spin, and therefore if this has any material impact on the link.
That is soo cool!
Just watch your fingers or they'll be mincemeat!
Very cool and interesting application!
Thank you for sharing
If you can't drill, how do you take care of the cabling to the AF24's or other devices. It's quite a height, and cables swinging in the wind won't last long.
Ok, didn't read correctly, so using magnets to secure the cable al the way down as well… Nicely done
I looked at their website, they have smaller magnets that could be used to attach the cable.
Edit: just saw your edit.
Yes, very cool actually…
Windturbines, chimneys, watertanks etc. Very useful especially for short time installations (or long time, when you can't drill a hole).
I'll install underneath the propeller blades. Most of them consist of metal in the middle. As most windturbines are installed on top of a small hill there is no need to mount equipment that high.
If you're mounting sectors to high, you can see it far away. Then you can't reuse frequency as you will see distant as noise....
You have to be very careful. 2 magnets are mounted next to each other on the mount. You have to keep them apart when mounting. Your fingers can easily get in the way. They'll be mincemeat....
Plan is to use smaller magnets to mount a cabletray. Cable will be attached to cabletray with zipties...
I'll post final story with pictures when equipment is mounted. Right now it's to cold to mount.
Those Vestas turbines are very impressive pieces of engineering. You know you can't leave that radio sitting sideways for too long in case it rains right?
The AF24 was only mounted there for around 30 minutes. Just to check if we needed to change anything on the design of the mount.
We found that the tube (aluminium and therefor a little soft) was to small in size (50 mm). We need a 60 mm tube instead. Since windturbine tower can be both conical or straight also the lower foot on the mount need to be changed, so we can mount 100% even…
And yes, those windturbines are very impressive. We have one the largest in the world around 6 km from where we live. We can easily see it far away....
By the way…. the magnets is guaranteed to sit there for over > 30 years. No degradation in strength
What did you do with the cabling? I can see a very nice potential on the Wind turbine mast, but the subsequent cables which need to come down from the various radios, where and how will you secure them? Hopefully not with magnets, I hope?
"Hopefully not with magnets, I hope?" ? Why not ? Cable tray mounted with magnets….
This was just at test setup why wind turbine tower is horizontal, not vertical....
The magnets have their force pointing forward, not backward.....
It is very clever. I like it…
Just a little input to the bracket - not sure if it is already so, but remember to blind the ends of the mounting tubes to avoid the 'whistling' sound from the wind passing by. If already blinded, remember small holes for condensation drain ;)
Another friendly advice is to place weater resistant rubber or neopren between the magnets and the sturcture. Without it, small vibrations tend ot grind paint of the structure and over time some ugly dark marks start to show from oxydation or whatever the materials are… Turbine owners dont like to repaint ;)
Another option is actually to drill holes - they do allow it if done to standards. Cut hole, put in decent size tube and seal off with roxtec gland...
P.s magnets are commenly used for telecom.. it works ;)
//Mikkel - telecom implemetation dude...
Sweet! Did you encounter any sort of problems due to magnetic interferrence?
"Another friendly advice is to place weater resistant rubber or neopren between the magnets and the sturcture."
These magnets are encapsulated in rubber.
"Another option is actually to drill holes - they do allow it if done to standards. Cut hole, put in decent size tube and seal off with roxtec gland… "
We need to guarantee that tower is not harmed in any way. If something happens it's our fault. So no, no option for us. We'll use magnets for both radios and cabletrays...