Specialist Wind Turbine Anchor Cages

  • 2022

  • Engineering

Commissioned By:

Allthread Industries Pty Ltd

Designed In:


A recent low-impact design innovation for wind turbine anchor cages from Australian manufacturing company Allthread Industries is revolutionizing costs and productivity in the local wind farm industry by significantly reducing time, labour and safety challenges involved. This is especially important in an increasingly carbon-constrained renewable energy-powered economy.

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  • The Australian energy market is transforming rapidly with affordable renewable energy replacing ageing coal-fired power stations. Wind farms are playing a critical role locally and globally to address the climate crisis. There are currently over 120 wind farms operating nationally and dozens in development annually. A key component of wind farms are turbine anchor cages, enormous steel cages filled with concrete below ground. When installed, their weight keeps the turbine tower (average height 150m) stable even under huge wind forces. They are typically imported as flatpack products, resulting in delivery and installation costs and times, injuries on-site and inconsistent quality.

  • Anchor cage designs vary, but the basic concept is that a thick steel baseplate with hundreds of huge bolts attached (each <4 m long, 50 kg). Australian manufacturing company Allthread Industries has locally designed and produced a preassembled wind anchor cage engineering solution that surpasses inferior flat-pack imports in quality, reliability, safety, cost and sustainability. All steel and 98% of the total content used in the cages are Australian, and 50% of the material also recycled. This innovative and safe innovation has drastically reduced delivery and installation times and costs, whilst supporting local industry and contributing positively to the environment.

  • Allthread’s preassembled anchor cages offer commercial, social and environmental benefits (using Murra Wurra wind farm case study results): •Increased productivity – reduced installation time from standard 1.5 days to 90 minutes, and halved labour from 4-6 people to two people. •Decreased costs – approximately $200,000 cheaper (installation and labour costs combined) than the imported alternative. •Reliable delivery – faster trucks versus uncertain shipping times of imports (7 weeks vs. 3 months). •Supports local industry and jobs – manufactured locally with 98% Australian content. •Increased safety – no reported incidents. •Low environmental footprint - Increased recycled content (50%) and lower travel miles dramatically reduces their embedded carbon.

  • •In the case of Murra Wurra Wind Farm, Allthread delivered 38 wind turbine anchor cages. There were phenomenal time savings, with installation completed two weeks ahead of schedule, despite the project commencing two weeks late (due to unrelated issues). Nick Canto, the Principal Consultant at local engineering consulting firm icubed said, ‘In my entire time working with wind farms and cages, I have never seen a project finish on time, far less early. Until this one.’ •To assemble a flat-pack cage involves workers installing 176 bolts per anchor on-site, on uneven ground and in the elements. Manual handling is always the biggest cause of injury on site, but across all 38 Murra Warra anchor cages, there were no reported safety incidents. •Other innovations reduced landfill. The grout-pocket trench at the top of each anchor is usually formed using single-use, non-recyclable, imported foam ingots – 15 tonnes of landfill across the project. Allthread developed a method using reusable metal rings. This eradicated the environmental impact and also allowed them to assemble the anchor cages in the factory and truck them to the site. Recycled plastic components were even sourced from a supplier in Orange who recycles COVID-19 vaccination syringes!