The installation of wind-energy farms has grown dramatically the past five years and so has the equipment to install these lines.
In the past, contractors have had to make multiple passes to install these lines — until now. Vermeer Corporation has developed an attachment to its track trencher line that allow for the installation of transmission lines in one pass.
The Vermeer CL80 cable layer attachment sorts, configures and feeds a series of cables; ground wire and tracer tape in a specified configuration into the trench — all in one pass.
A series of rollers guide the cables over the machine then feed them into a cable box where they are sorted in the appropriate configuration. On descent into the trench, the cables then begin to align in triangular formation, becoming more tightly knit on approach. The ground wire, conduit and tracer tape are placed on top of the triangular formation as specified.
For proficient cross-country transmission line installations in soft soils, the Vermeer bucket wheel attachment features a series of buckets, which rotate in a circular motion, removing dirt from the trench. The bucket-wheel attachment has a cutting width of 22, 24 or 28 inches, depending on the size of buckets used.
River or environmentally sensitive area crossings pose many challenges to wind-farm installations, and in these cases, horizontal directional drilling can serve as an easy solution to navigating these areas. Mid-size rigs ranging from 24,000 to 50,000 pounds of thrust/pullback are widely used by wind-farm installation contractors to install transmission lines under rivers, streams and sensitive areas, leaving the natural landscape undisturbed.
“Vermeer has worked closely with the wind-energy industry, listening to their needs and we’ve created solutions to help ease the installation of wind-energy transmission lines,” says Mark Cooper, director of specialty excavation at Vermeer. “Contractors who own a track trencher may find the wind-energy market as another opportunity for increased utilization of their equipment just by adding other attachments.” 888.837.6337, www.vermeer.com; firstname.lastname@example.org