Genie® Goes the Extra Mile for Polar Research Station, Greenland
Oct 3, 2019, 03:00 AM
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Genie® S®-45 TraX boom takes on extreme polar conditions.
Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and managed in cooperation with the Government of Greenland since 1988, Summit Station is a scientific platform dedicated to research related to the polar ice core. Operating year- round, the site is located at 72 °36’ North, 38° 25° West latitude at an altitude of 3,231 m (10,600 ft). With a mean annual air temperature of minus 31° C reaching extremes of minus 55° C, as its name implies, Summit Station is based at the highest point of the Greenland ice sheet.
An unusual demand… to say the least!
To assist in multiple tasks, among which maintenance and construction work at Summit Station, CH2M Hill Polar Services (CPS) addressed several aerial manufacturers with its requirements: A track-mounted boom adapted to extreme polar conditions, including its delivery to a particularly hard- to-reach location. Ready to go the extra mile to support this unusual demand, Authorized Genie Distributor in Denmark, Jøma Lift Teknik A/S, responded with a 15.72 m (51 ft) Genie® S®-45 TraX telescopic track-mounted boom lift specially prepared to suit the challenges of a severe polar climate.
Built for the worst
Offering a working height of 15.72 m (51ft), a horizontal reach of 11.18 m (36 ft 8 in) and a lift capacity of 227 kg (500 lb), unlike traditional “skid steer” designs that have a full length track on each side, the Genie S-45 TraX boom lift features an exclusive four-point track and patented active oscillating axle system. With four independent triangular tracks at each corner of the unit and a 30-degree steer angle that offers the drive and steer capabilities of a traditional front-wheel steer machine, each triangular-shaped track swivels 22 degrees up and down to maintain ground contact. Thanks to this unique system, the Genie S-45 TraX boom adapts to rough or sensitive terrain and sharp changes in slope, including the break-over angle on many transport trailers.
As a result, Genie TraX machines avoid operators experiencing the unstable “catapult” effect that can be present with other track- mounted designs, while offering improved terrainability, maximum power and torque, as well as reducing damage in almost any conditions from soft mud, sand and snow to harder uneven gravel, rock, concrete or asphalt-based surfaces.
Special ‘cold weather’ adaptations
As part of the machine’s preparation for Summit Station’s polar extremes, this particular Genie S-45 TraX unit was equipped with the Genie Cold Weather Kit that features full synthetic engine oil, an 110V battery blanket, oil pan heater, freeze plug heater and -40°C hydraulic hose rating. Jøma Lift also recommended the replacement of the standard hydraulic oil with specialized arctic oil that is better suited to freezing temperatures.
And, due to Summit Station’s high altitude, the choice of engine was also an important factor. Combustion engines rely on the right combination of air and fuel to generate horse power. At over 3,000 m (9,842 ft) above sea level, the proportion of oxygen in the air is reduced which can lead to a power loss of up to 30 percent. To make sure that the machine would operate efficiently in these extreme conditions, improvements to the horsepower output of the machine’s Deutz engine were undertaken.
"A perfect solution, not just in terms of its specifications and performance, but also an ideal fit that meant that no modifications were needed to load the machine onto the aircraft that flew it to its final destination. Due to the extreme winter cold, we can only work during the summer season and since we have had the Genie S-45 TraX boom, we have doubled our efficiency. It saves us the time and inconvenience of setting up scaffold, which is something that we really appreciate in our severe polar climate! Its working height is just right for Summit Station’s new sleeping facility that we are constructing raised on stilts to avoid snow drifts from blocking the entrance.” --Jay Burnside, Construction and Technical Services Manager, CH2M CPS.
Highly valued proactive support
In addition to providing the right equipment solution to meet the requirements of CPS, Jøma Lift also played an important role in assisting its customer in the administrative and logistics processes. This included shipping the machine to the port of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland and loading it onto a rare version of US military Lockheed 130 plane specially equipped with skis, which flew the machine a further 800 km (497 mi) to its final destination.
To sum, not only did Jøma Lift Technik meet all of the specific requirements for shipping, they also provided strong support with the engine modifications, emissions, fuel type as well as the special cover for winter storage.