Trenchers and wind energy plants


In the last years Vermeer has found another target for Trenching excavation, expanding the possible area of use of its machines.
We are talking about wind energy plants.

This is a field where the investment – just like the solar power plant – drastically increased in the past few years. Now the technology in our hands grants us to build solar and wind plants even in our houses, but bigger are the plants biggest are the business chances.

How a trencher could be helpful in the realization of a wind energy plant?

The other alternative for this excavation, backhoes, cannot be always recommendable. They are less expensives but not as efficient as a trencher. Obviously trenchers in this case are used for the cable laying among the farms themselves, digging an underground network.

On medium-big wind farm trenchers are a possible good solution.
Otherwise, in case of roads, bridges or irregular field, HDD Rigs are a good possible choice, since they allow to dig for hundreds of meters.

“One challenge to installing wind-energy transmission lines is the multiple passes required using traditional excavation methods. Vermeer designed the CL80 cable layer attachment to sort, configure and feed three cables, one ground wire, one conduit with fiber optic cable, and one tracer tape. The attachment also places and secures the cables in the specified configuration in the trench all in one pass”. 

(Mark Cooper, director of specialty excavation for Vermeer)

The attachment is designed to work with the Vermeer T655  tractor. It features a series of buckets which rotate in a circular motion, removing more dirt from the trench than a standard trencher attachment. The bucket-wheel attachment has a cutting width of 22, 24 or 28 inches (55.9 cm, 61 cm or 71.1 cm), depending on the size of buckets used.

Vermeer designed the CL80 cable layer attachment, specialty equipment that enhances the installation efficiency of wind-energy transmission lines.

So we need to dig trenches to lay cables for our wind turbine. Anything else? There is a problem related to wind farm, and it has shown its threat recently in USA and Canada: lightning protection.

To reduce damages to the turbines there is a technique which requires to lay cables and conductive cement. San-Earth conductive cement offers a safe, economical long-term solution to the wind-farm grounding problem. It was specifically developed for locations where resistivity is high and access may be difficult. The recommended design for a conductive cement electrode system for a single wind turbine consists of a perimeter ground totaling 60 meters (197 feet) in length combined with four radial electrodes 30 meters (98 feet) each in length  and installed at a depth of 1 meter (39 inches).

So you can simply use a rocksaw trencher to afford this task (Vermeer V5750 or Ditch Witch RT115).