Siemens has commercially launched a concrete wind tower technology that is designed to capture stronger winds at higher altitudes – resulting in more potential energy production and increased project revenue for customers.
According to Siemens, the company partnered with Wind Tower Technologies of Boulder, Colo., for engineering and construction methodologies. Siemens says that a distinctive feature of this patented tower system is the on-site match casting of annular precast tower segments, which eliminates the need to grout the joints or provide other special surface treatments between tower sections.
Per a company release, on-site casting of the Siemens tower segments increases the use of local labor and materials and eliminates transportation costs associated with off-site fabricated tower sections. The benefits of match casting have been proven for 30 years in the construction of large bridge structures, the release asserts.
“By match casting tower segments on-site, we are able to simplify and streamline the entire tower construction process – reducing costs throughout,” says Michael McManus, Siemens head of business development and strategy for onshore Americas. “Through our strong commitment to innovation, Siemens is revolutionizing the concrete wind turbine tower, delivering technology that will help deliver leaps in annual energy production.”
Siemens says that its precast segmental concrete tower system was designed to be economically scalable to heights in excess of 115 meters using a special modular formwork design. This concrete tower technology offers up to an additional 10% or more annual energy production compared with the typical 80-meter height, depending on climatic conditions.
Siemens developed its concrete tower technology through prototype testing in Texas and a subsequent single commercial turbine in Iowa. The company says that these efforts validated processes and paved the way to full commercial applications of the tower, including future taller towers.