Capable of upending and lifting the biggest monopiles in the world, the Flanged Pile Upending Tool (FPUT) 2450t is just one of several super-sized tools developed by IQIP to cater for the installation of increasingly larger offshore wind turbines. With the previous FPUT models offering a maximum lifting capacity of 1200t and 1600t, the new FPUT 2450t is a significant expansion to IQIP’s innovative range of handling equipment.
Since monopiles have become the dominant foundation of choice for offshore wind turbines, state-of-the-art installation equipment is needed to keep-up with their increasing size. IQIP’s experienced team of engineers made several innovative modifications to the original FPUT design to overcome the challenges presented when working at a larger scale.
A key feature of the FPUT’s improved design is the addition of an extra latch. A third latch was added to the design to deliver an even load distribution, and to provide more support underneath the flange. The FPUT is specifically designed to upend and lift large diameter piles with an integrated flange, and the monopiles do not require secondary steel, increasing the efficiency of the tool. In addition, stabbing fingers around the tool have been designed to efficiently guide the tool inside of the pile, making it easier to stab into the pile. Contact pads are another key feature of the FPUT, added to ensure there is minimal contact damage during lifting operations.
Making sure that this super-sized tool could be operated safely was also a priority for IQIP’s project engineering team. Designed with camera and remote control, so it can be operated from a distance, the FPUT can install monopiles with no direct human intervention. Proximity switches are used to detect the pile, and only once all proximity and pressure settings are correct, will the program inform the operator that the tool is safe for lifting.