Demag has installed a fully automated EOT crane for handling the wood chip used to power a biomass boiler at global broadcaster Sky’s new headquarters in London, UK.

Based in Osterley, West London, the 23,000m2 development will be powered using a Combined Cooling Heating and Power (CCHP) plant capable of generating 1MW of electricity and 5MW of heat, which Sky hopes will make it the most sustainable broadcasting facility in Europe.

10,000t of wood chip, sourced from broken down pallets, is required to generate energy for the plant, and is stored at a sunken ‘input’ area once delivered to the site.

When sensors integrated into Demag’s material flow management system show biomass levels in the furnace are low, Demag’s 6.3t crane lifts biomass from the storage area to a silo store. This silo then feeds the furnace, as and when biomass is needed, via a conveyor system that activates once biomass levels fall below a predetermined level.

Spanning 7.8m and capable of long and cross travel speeds of 1.5–40m/min and 1.5– 20m/min respectively, the crane uses a 4.5m3 capacity clam-shell grab fitted with teeth and side knives to lift biomass.

To accomplish this without risk of damaging the storage facility walls, Demag fitted the crane with inverter-controlled drives for accurate positioning and to minimise load sway.

Limiters on the crane’s cross speed and travel speed also help achieve this, along with anti-derailment protection for the crab trolley and a heavy-duty rope guide fitted to the DR-Pro electric wire rope hoist to counteract side pull.

The DR-Pro electric wire rope hoist is capable of hoisting speeds between 1m/min and 16m/min, and is fitted with a failsafe bottom block operated hoist limit.

All motors on the crane system Demag provided are housed in IP55-rated enclosures to protect against dust from the storage area, and the crane also features electronic overload protection, slack rope detection and radio remote control.