Load Cell Integral to Load Test at Australian Hydro Power Station

The 50t Radiolink Plus tension load cell was put to use following a modernisation project to overhaul a crane that was originally installed in the 1960s and is primarily used for maintenance of the power generating turbines. 

The facility, that produces electrical power using the force of moving water, needed a solution to test its only overhead crane, which has a 120t main hoist and 15t auxilliary hoist. The power station had a suspended slab floor inside the loading bay so solid test weights were not suitable.

Ross Johnson, Melbourne branch manager at Rigging Rentals, the company that oversaw the load test, said: “We came up with a solution to use water load bags and rigging gear. The customer was very impressed with how the load cell took accurate readings to verify their lifting procedures.”

 The Seaflex water bag was used in conjunction with the load cell and the rigging system implemented by Rigging Rentals to monitor the weight of the load in real time. Site engineers and crane technicians took readings at 75%, 90%, 100% and 110% of the load limit to 16,500kg.

The tension load cell was supplied and calibrated by long-term Straightpoint distributor ACS, which calibrates equipment to force, electricity, heat, pressure, weight and other measurements to meet national requirements.

Straightpoint director David Ayling said: “The partnership with ACS provides an efficient method of getting our equipment onto job sites in Australia, like the hydro power station referenced above. Because of the standards we have to adhere to, equipment has to be calibrated upon arrival into Australia so having a partner who can do that and then distribute it makes sense. 

He explained that the testing and shipping process from the UK remains the same as if the kit was bound straight for a job site; Straightpoint calibrates and verifies for its own records before equipment is approved for shipment prior to calibration upon entry into Australia.

Ayling added: “Incorporating our equipment in a rigging arrangement with water bags is common. The Radiolink Plus is well suited to such an application because it comes with a wireless handheld display or PC software that allows the operator to remain at a distance from the test and monitor the loads safely and accurately.

Pic: Rigging Rentals.jpg


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