Title:
Gin Pole Device for Raising and Lowering a Tower
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a gin pole device for raising and lowering a tower that allows tension and length adjustments of the guy wires during tower erection to keep the tower as straight as possible, so that weight loads are equally distributed on the guy wires, thereby avoiding tower deformation.



Inventors:
Bourdages, Évangéliste (Gaspe, CA)
Application Number:
11/988817
Publication Date:
08/26/2010
Filing Date:
06/27/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H12/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MYERS BIGEL, P.A. (PO BOX 37428, RALEIGH, NC, 27627, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gin pole device for raising and lowering a tower, comprising: a pole having an anchoring end for anchoring the pole; at least two winching mechanisms mounted on the pole, comprising respectively at least two guy wires having their free ends connectable to different sections of the tower, the winching mechanisms allowing independent tension and length adjustments for each of the guy wires; and guiding means mounted on a portion of the pole, distal to the winching mechanisms, for guiding the guy wires between the winching mechanisms and the sections of the tower.

2. The gin pole device according to claim 1, wherein said winching mechanisms are mounted proximate the anchoring end of the pole.

3. The gin pole device according to claim 1, wherein said winching mechanisms are mounted in a superposed relationship along the pole.

4. The gin, pole device according to claim 1, wherein the guiding means are provided with a guardrail for preventing the guy wires from leaving the guiding means.

5. The gin pole device according to claim 1, wherein said guiding means are mounted at a free end of the pole opposed the anchoring end thereof.

6. The gin pole device according to claim 5, wherein the guiding means comprise at least two rounded tracks mounted at the free end of the pole for respectively receiving the guy wires therein.

7. The gin pole device according to claim 6, wherein said rounded tracks are respectively provided with a non-abrasive guiding surface.

8. The gin pole device according to claim 6, wherein the guiding means are provided with a guardrail mounted above the tracks for preventing the guy wires from leaving the tracks.

9. The gin pole device according to claim 5, wherein the guiding means comprise at least two pulleys mounted at the free end of the pole for respectively guiding the guy wires therein.

10. The gin pole device according to claim 1, further comprising a connecting device mounted at the anchoring end of the pole for connecting the pole to a lower end of the tower.

11. The gin pole device according to claim 1, wherein each of the winching mechanisms is provided with a worm gear for preventing an unwanted unwinding of the guy wire connected thereto.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to gin pole devices particularly useful to raise and lower tubular and lattice towers that are generally supported by guy wires. It more particularly concerns an improved gin pole device allowing tension and length adjustments of the erection guy wires during tower erection.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The usage of tubular and lattice towers is well spread in the meteorological, communication and wind assessment fields. The tower needs to be as light as possible and must be erected with basic tools such as a gin pole for example. Such a tower is generally installed in remote areas.

The necessity for higher towers is mainly dictated by the wind energy industry which uses more and more powerful wind turbines. Such turbines have to be installed on top of tapered towers that are built higher than conventional towers to gain more wind speed. Energy production is proportional to the cube of the wind speed and each increase in wind speed translates into greater energy production.

As in the mining or petroleum industry, wind energy needs prospecting prior to the investment of a full-scale wind farm. This prospecting is performed by using temporary towers mostly erected in remote or hard to access areas thus requiring light weight and relatively inexpensive installation.

In order to achieve an inexpensive installation, gin poles are required to raise and lower towers. Generally, such towers are provided with a plurality of support guy wires that are attached to the gin pole safely to raise the tower.

To improve installation of towers, it would be desirable to avoid tower deformation during the raise and the lower down of the tower. This would advantageously prevent the collapse of the tower during its erection.

Therefore, it would be desirable to provide an improved gin pole that allows tension and length adjustment of the erection guy wires during the raise and the lower down of the tower in order to keep the tubular tower as straight as possible, so that weight loads are advantageously equally distributed on the guy wires, thereby avoiding tower deformation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a gin pole device allowing tension and length adjustments of the erection guy wires during the erection or the lowering of the tower.

Accordingly, there is provided a gin pole device for raising and lowering a tower. The gin pole device is provided with a pole having an anchoring end for anchoring the pole. The gin pole device has at least two winching mechanisms mounted on the pole. The winching mechanisms comprise respectively at least two guy wires having their free ends connectable to different sections of the tower. The winching mechanisms allow independent tension and length adjustments for each of the guy wires. The gin pole device is also provided with guiding means mounted on a portion of the pole, distal to the winching mechanisms, for guiding the guy wires between the winching mechanisms and the sections of the tower.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the detailed description and upon referring to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a gin pole device of the present invention in relation with a tower.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the gin pole device of FIG. 1, the guy wires being omitted.

FIG. 3 is a front view of an upper portion of the gin pole device shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the upper portion of the gin pole device shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a front view of a lower portion of the gin pole device shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the lower portion of the gin pole device shown in FIG. 5.

The objects, advantages and other features of the present invention would become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restricted description of preferred embodiments thereof, given for the purpose of exemplification only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the following description, similar features in the drawings have been given similar reference numerals and in order to weight down the figures, some elements are not referred to in some figures if they were already identified in a precedent figure.

The present invention concerns a gin pole device for controlling and adjusting tension of the erection guy wires which support the tower during its installation. The gin pole device of the present invention is particularly devised to advantageously keep the tower as straight as possible during the erection, so that weight loads are equally distributed on the guy wires, thereby avoiding tower deformation.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an 80-meter tower 10 having five independent sections 12 of definite length assembled together, sixteen meters in the illustrated preferred embodiment. The tower 10 is illustrated in an installation position in relation with a gin pole device 14 of the present invention. Throughout the present description, the expression installation position is used to designate the position of the tower 10 either during the erection of the tower 10 or either during the lowering of the tower 10. In the illustrated embodiment, the lower end 16 of the tower 10 is anchored in the ground and the gin pole device 14 is connected to the tower 10, preferably at the lower end 16 thereof, as it will be more detailed thereinafter. However, the gin pole device is not necessary connected to the tower 10, and is not necessary near the lower end 16 of the tower 10. For example, each of the tower 10 and the gin pole device 14 may be independently anchored in the ground in a distal manner. The tower 10 is attached to the gin pole device 14 along its length with four erection guy wires 18 which support the tower 10 during its installation. To erect the tower 10, the operator pulls the guy wires 18 and the tower 10 pivots gradually upwardly with respect to its lower end 16. During the lowering of the tower 10, the guy wires 16 are gradually released and the tower 10 pivots downwardly with respect to its lower end 16, as it will be more easily understood upon reading of the following description.

Still referring to FIG. 1 and also to FIG. 2, the gin pole device 14 for raising and lowering a tower 10 according to the present invention is provided with a pole 20 having an anchoring end 22 for anchoring the pole 20 and a free end 24 opposed to the anchoring end 22. Preferably, the gin pole device 14 is provided with a connecting device (not shown) mounted at the anchoring end 22 of the pole 20 for connecting the pole 20 to the lower end 16 of the tower 10. The connecting device advantageously allows to fix the lower end 16 of the tower 10 with respect to the gin pole device 14 and provides a pivot point around which the tower 10 will be allowed to pivot.

As better shown in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, the gin pole device 14 has four winching mechanisms 26 mounted on the pole 20, preferably proximate the anchoring end 22 of the pole 20 even if other arrangements could be considered. It should be understood that any numbers of winching mechanisms 26 could be used, but preferably at least two. As illustrated, the winching mechanisms 26 are preferably mounted in a superposed relationship along the pole 20. Of course, other arrangements could be considered. Each winching mechanisms 26 has a guy wire 18 having its free end connectable to a corresponding section 12 of the tower 10. The winching mechanisms 26 allow independent tension and length adjustments for each of the guy wires 18. It is worth mentioning that any kind of mechanism adapted to pull some wire could be contemplated. In this illustrated embodiment, four erection guy wires 18 are used to support the tower 10. Indeed, using one or more support guy wires 18 advantageously allow to diminish the loads on the wires 18 so the diameter of the wires 18 can be diminished and the load applied on the winching mechanisms 26 can be reduced as well. Preferably, each winching mechanism 26 is provided with a worm gear (not shown) for preventing an unwanted unwinding of the guy wire 18 connected thereto.

It should be mentioned that the guy wires 18 supporting the tower 10 during its installation are also advantageously used to anchor the tower 10 to the ground once erected. These guy wires 18 are preferably conventional guy wires generally used in the art.

It should be understood that any length for the independent sections 12 of the tower 10 and any number of such sections could be envisaged. Moreover, any number of erection guy wires 18 can be attached to the tower 10 in order to be able to raise a tower 10 of the convenient height required by a particular application. With the gin pole device 14 of the present invention, during the erection or the lowering of the tower 10, weight loads can advantageously be equally distributed on the guy wires 18, thereby preventing cable break and also avoiding deformation of the sections 12 of the tower 10. The distribution of the loads on each of the guy wires 18 attached on the gin pole device 14 advantageously contribute to the possibility of erecting a taller tower.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 and also to FIGS. 3 and 4, the gin pole device 14 of the present invention is also provided with guiding means 28 mounted on a portion of the pole 10, distal to the winching mechanisms 26, for guiding the guy wires 18 between the winching mechanisms 26 and the sections 12 of the tower 10. As illustrated, the guiding means 28 are preferably mounted at the free end 24 of the pole 20 opposed the anchoring end 22 thereof. Preferably, as better shown in FIG. 3, the guiding means 28 advantageously comprise four rounded tracks 30 mounted at the free end 24 of the pole 20 for respectively receiving the guy wires 18 therein. Of course, if only two erection guy wires 18 and associated winching mechanisms 26 are used, the guiding means 28 only have two rounded tracks 30. In the case a single erection guy wire 18 and associated winching mechanism 26 is used, a single rounded track 30 is preferably provided. In other words, one track 30 per guy wire 18 is preferably provided so that the guy wires 18 will not rub on each other while manipulated. In fact, each guy wire 18 can sit on a corresponding track 30 and slide therein while it is being manipulated by the winching mechanism 26. It will advantageously prevent the guy wires 18 to cross on each other. Preferably, each rounded track 30 is provided with a non-abrasive guiding surface 32 in order to reduce friction while the wires 18 are moving. Thus, the guy wires 18 will not be damaged. Preferably, as better shown in FIG. 3, the guiding means 28 are advantageously provided with a guardrail 34 for preventing the guy wires 18 from leaving the guiding means 28. In the illustrated embodiment, the guardrail 34 is mounted above the tracks 30. Of course, any convenient guiding means allowing to guide the guy wires 18 between the winching mechanisms 26 and the sections 12 of the tower 10 could be considered. For example, the guiding means may comprise a convenient number of pulleys, preferably mounted at the free end 24 of the pole 20, each respectively guiding the guy wires 18 between the corresponding winching mechanism 26 and the corresponding section 12 of the tower 10.

Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise embodiments and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein without departing from the scope of the present invention.