Sword Construction required an accurate and reliable wind monitoring solution for the Devonshire Dock Hall expansion, where they used two Wolffkran luffing cranes. The facility is owned by BAE Systems, and the expansion will be used to assemble Royal Navy submarines.
The project site represented a unique challenge, since the existing assembly hall was funnelling the wind, causing variable and unpredictable conditions for any cranes in operation.
For example, you cannot rely on a ground-level measurement to determine wind conditions for a crane that is located 200 m away, with a boom 50 m above the ground. Construction sites in urban locations tend to have more wind speed variations across short distances, due to the effect of surrounding buildings and other structures. Open sites tend to have steadier winds, but this normally changes as new structures are built.
As we have discussed in previous articles, keeping track of wind turbulence is also very important. Your construction site could have two locations with the same average wind speed, but very different turbulence conditions. Even at low average wind speeds, turbulence can cause your crane to become unstable if left unchecked.
WINDCRANE data chart above showing the max/gust and average wind speeds for Sword tower crane WINDCRANE systems, during storm Arwen:
The cranes used by Sword Construction were located at the western end of the assembly hall, very close to one of its walls. The large building was funnelling the prevailing wind, causing variable speeds and unpredictable conditions across the entire construction site. To operate safely, Sword Construction required live wind data for each of the cranes. They also required a portable anemometer, to monitor wind speeds in any point of the structure and scaffolding.
In this case, the wind speeds experienced by the cranes are much higher than those recorded by the portable anemometer. Without a dedicated monitoring system for each crane, their wind conditions would have been underestimated drastically.
With crane-mounted monitoring systems, project managers can decide whether to proceed with a lift or not based on live data.