Self-erecting/locking,unlocking-folding Support Mast for heavy equipment like Wind-Generators, Lighting Equipment and more.
Background of the Invention:
This invention relates to a hydraulically operated support-mast for heavy equipment like wind-generators, lighting equipment and other items to be held aloft. The mast described herein does not require heavy equipment nor easy access, or wide access-space to be erected. It also provides ease of maintenance to the supported equipment.
Especially in the wind-power industry, but also in other applications, it is often difficult to install the needed support structures (masts/towers/poles), because of access problems to the erection site with heavy equipment (cranes), or tight spaces, which don't allow the deployment of large (long) sections, and also make the task of servicing the mounted-on equipment extremely difficult, expensive and unsafe.
The primary objective of this invention is to provide a stable and strong support structure. Additionally this mast is easy to handle, easy to erect, and provides easy and safe access to service the mounted upon equipment in an upright equipment-position close to the ground. All of this is achieved by using a multiple hinged mast-structure, which is moved to upright position, or folded down for servicing purposes by hydraulic means.
A further object of the present invention is to provide stability between the sections without the need to bolt them together (which again would require equipment to access the higher section joints). This is achieved with a hydraulically or electromechanical activated locking mechanism.
Dimensions of the mast, as well as the number of sections can vary according to the needs presented by the equipment to be supported. At minimum the mast will consist of three sections:
a) A base,
b) One mast-section,
c) The top section (holding the equipment)
The materials to be used for the components can also vary with the scope, vertical or horizontal loads to support, as well as being engineered for harmonic stresses. Materials considered are steel(s), aluminum alloys, carbon-fiber/Epoxy, glas-fiber/Epoxy. Mast sections can be straight tubular or tapered.
The locking device can only be actuated when it senses the upright position of the mast, and accordingly the hydraulic devices to erect or lower the mast can only be activated when the locking device is in "open" position to avoid damage to the structure.
It is to be understood, that while a preferred embodyment is illustrated, it is not limited to the specific form of arrangement of parts described or shown. Various changes can be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
1) A "self erecting" mast/pole by hydraulic means, comprised of Three or more hinged sections, especially suited for installations in tight spaces, or where the use of heavy equipment to erect such support-structures is not a viable or very expensive option.
2) A locking/unlocking device, actuated hydraulically or by electromechanical means, to avoid the bolting/unbolting of the sections at unsafe working heights.