LTR 1220 builds water basins for energy storage system

22 February 2017 by Sotiris Kanaris


Working on an innovative wind power project for Max Bögl Group, a Liebherr telecrawler will pick and carry concrete slabs to build a basin reservoir for a pumped-water energy storage system. When each of the basins is complete, the crane will then need to be lifted out by a 500t all terrain.

Max Bögl Group is building a modern pump accumulator power plant near Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, along with four wind turbines. The turbines with rotor diameters of 137m and a hub height of 180m will be among the tallest in the world

The special feature of this project is that each wind turbine will later be located in the centre of a circular water basin. Surplus energy can be used to pump water from the valley up into these water basins and then when electricity is then required it can be released to flow down to the power plant. The massive water basins are currently being constructed by a Liebherr LTR 1220 telescopic crawler crane.

Positioned in the centre of the circular foundation with a diameter of 63m, the crane has a very small footprint. From there it only has to manoeuvre a few metres to be able to reach every point of the water basin wall. The LTR 1220 is also able to move with 12t reinforced concrete components attached to it.

The largest of the four basins, which will later be able to hold a total of 160,000m3 of water, is made up of seven rings, each consisting of 28 concrete elements.

Crane driver Michael Otto needs around one month with his LTR 1220 to assemble the total of around 200 curved wall segments which make up one of the basins. When the wall of a so-called passive basin has been completed, however, the crawler crane will be unable to drive out of it.

The LTR 1220 will then have to be hoisted over the 11 to 15m high wall out of the water basin by a Liebherr mobile crane after its crawler tracks have been removed.

In addition to crawler and mobile cranes and a wide range of Liebherr machines from the Earthmoving Division, Liebherr top-slewing cranes are also operating on the site, including two new 280 EC-H 16 cranes. The 40m high storage towers will be built by a Liebherr LTM 11200-9.1 mobile crane.

These towers, which rise out of the passive basins and can also hold water, will be used as foundations for the wind turbines. The turbines are being erected by a Liebherr 630 EC-H 70 top-slewing crane. This wind turbine crane will then also be erected at a height of 40m on the tower in the active basin which will enable it to reach a hook height of 191m above ground level.