First, the helper gin pole goes up by hand, and then the gin pole. Yes, it's a gin pole for the gin pole.
And then the lift; 2 hours 45 minutes total time...(80 meter MET tower)
We get a LOT of questions about how tilt-up towers are designed, fabricated and erected. Which is good, because as we tell students in our Wind Turbine Design and Construction classes, building and wiring the wind turbine is the easy part. The tower and its foundation will almost always cost you more time, money, labor and consternation than the turbine and balance of system!
The video above shows the lift, after of course a lot of work getting everything ready, with one photo per minute over 2 hours and 45 minutes. We are very excited to be working with Capital City Renewables out of Madison, Wisconsin, on some of these tower installation and maintenance projects now. The videos are from different projects, both in Colorado. One is a 100 meter MET tower, the other an 80 meter MET tower.
Most people don't have the desire or the training to climb towers, and we absolutely recommend training. But ask any wind energy professional -- in many ways, tilt-up towers can be MORE dangerous to the installer than those you have to climb.
If you are considering installing a tilt-up tower for a wind turbine or anemometers, we HIGHLY recommend that you take a hands-on class to learn how to do it safely! We do offer such classes each year.
It's not difficult to calculate the static forces on a tilt-up tower and its guy wires and anchors, but dynamic forces can put all that math out the window. When a loop of wire rope on the winch spool snaps down to the next layer and gives a jerk, if the wind comes up from a bad angle or shifts and resonance forces start the tower moving rhythmically, all bets might be off. A wire rope guy wire that's tight and not drooping could have 500 pounds of tension on it, or 5,000 and be about to snap--and there's no quick and easy way to tell during a lift.
Be safe, and if you are a do-it-yourselfer, take a class!