Liebherr cranes used for world’s highest wind turbines

An LTM 11200-9.1 operated by the Max Bögl Group assembles a Liebherr top-slewing crane on the energy storage project site at Gaildorf.
Image credit: Liebherr

In September, a Liebherr mobile crane was used to assemble the 630 EC-H top-slewing tower cranes, also from Leibherr, on the natural electricity storage site at Gaildorf – an innovative energy storage project that combines the highest wind turbines in the world with a pumped-storage power plant, which is being completed by the Max Bögl Group in southern Germany.

Max Bögl is a construction, technology and service company based in Sengenthal in Bavaria. On the site near Schwäbisch Hall, one of the Group’s four LTM 11200-9.1 cranes assembled the Liebherr 630 EC-H top-slewing cranes and placed them on the 40-metre high foundations of the wind turbines which are also used as water storage basins. Assembly of each of these large special cranes for wind turbines, which Max Bögl has used to erect many wind turbines over the past five years, took about two days. 

On the current site the cranes reach hook heights of 190m. 


The maximum support base of 13x13m provides the LTM 11200-9.1 with the stability it needs. In the background you can see an LTM 1130-5.1 acting as an auxiliary crane. 
Image credit: Liebherr 

The heaviest component of the tower cranes was the main jib, which weighed about 23t. The mobile crane had to manage significantly larger load cases, up to 90t, during the construction of the lower system tower. A 26m radius was required for this work due to the large storage basin. At 76m above the ground, the construction crane then took over the assembly of the remainder of the tower. 

These systems are due to come online by the end of the year. The rotor blades of the wind turbines, which are built on a mountain ridge, will catch the wind at an altitude of 246.5m. 

At a later date, the storage basins will be connected to a modern hydroelectric power plant and a water storage basin in Kocher Valley. This will enable the system to compensate for the fluctuating power generation capacity of the wind turbines. In high winds, when more electricity is generated than can be fed into the network, water will be pumped from the lake at the bottom into the high storage basins. When there is little wind, electricity can still be generated in the pumped-storage power plant.

28 Nov 2017


By Robyn Grimsley
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