GE Renewable Energy, Cobod and LafargeHolcim announced that they will partner to co-develop wind turbines with optimized 3D printed concrete bases, reaching record heights up to 200 m. The three partners will undertake a multi-year collaboration to develop this innovative solution, which will increase renewable energy production while lowering the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and optimizing construction costs. The partners will produce ultimately a wind turbine prototype with a printed pedestal, and a production ready printer and materials range to scale up production. The first prototype, a 10-meter high tower pedestal, was successfully printed in October 2019 in Copenhagen.
“Concrete 3D printing is a very promising technology for us, as its incredible design flexibility expands the realm of construction possibilities. Being both a user and promoter of clean energy, we are delighted to be putting our material and design expertise to work in this groundbreaking project, enabling cost efficient construction of tall wind turbine towers and accelerating access to renewable energy,” explained Edelio Bermejo, Head of R&D for LafargeHolcim.
Hights up to 200 m possible
Henrik Lund-Nielsen, founder of Cobod International A/S added: “We are extremely proud to be working with world-class companies like GE Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim. With our groundbreaking 3D printing technology combined with the competence and resources of our partners, we are convinced that this disruptive move within the wind turbines industry will help drive lower costs and faster execution times, to benefit customers and lower the CO2 footprint from the production of energy.
Traditionally built in steel or precast concrete, wind turbine towers have typically been limited to a height of under 100 meters, as the width of the base cannot exceed the 4.5-meter diameter that can be transported by road, without excessive additional costs.
Printing a variable height base directly on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology will enable the construction of towers up to 150 - 200 m tall. Typically, a 5 MW turbine at 80 m generates, yearly, 15.1 GWh. In comparison, the same turbine at 160 m would generate 20.2 GWh, or more than 33 % extra power.
Cobod International A/S
Dronningens Tværgade 26
+45 2067 9535
GE Renewable Energy
+41 58 858 8711