ABI Mobilrams Improve Schedule on Solar Project SunEdison

abi mobilrams sun editson projectSolar energy services provider SunEdison used three ABI Mobilrams to install the framework for a solar power plant in Mosca, Colorado, substantially cutting the time and cost of the project.

The company installed 8,800 piles -- 4-inch galvanized pipe with a 1/4 inch wall thickness -- to hold 27,000 photovoltaic solar panels. The pipes were vibrated into fairly dense ground, using a new TM 10/12.5 Mobilram with an MRZV 400S vibrator. Because the solar panels pivot and can act like a sail, it was critical that the foundation piles had the uplift capacity and sideload capacity to withstand significant winds.

The piles had to be straight, in the right location and at the right elevation to be connected in a straight line. The elevations of the pile tops were controlled by a laser device to ensure accuracy.

abi mobilrams sun edison projectInitially, about 100 piles a day were installed, but production was increased to an average of 150 piles per day by using a skid-steer equipped with a handling device to get the pipes in place in front of the rig. Record production of 180 pipes was achieved during one 10-hour shift.

In addition to using the TM 10/12.5, SunEdison also used two Mobilrams from Hammer & Steel to increase production even more. By using the machines, SunEdison was able to install all 8,800 pipes in just 21 days, said Rick Lavezzo, commander of utilities construction for the company.

Previously, SunEdison used conventional concrete construction to install pipes. A job this size should have taken several months and cost significantly more, said Lavezzo.

This was the first time Lavezzo had worked with Hammer & Steel, and he was impressed with the process -- including custom design of the rig and specially made clamps for the pipes, on-time delivery of the Mobilram, and on-site training for his crew. "Everything worked flawlessly. It was a pleasure working with Hammer & Steel," he said.

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