A consortium of energy leaders plan to develop wind turbines with 3D-printed concrete bases, reaching record heights up to 200 metres.
GE Renewable Energy, the 3D construction printing firm COBOD and the building materials company LafargeHolcim, promise this innovative solution will increase renewable energy production while lowering energy and construction costs.
Wind turbine towers have typically been limited to a height of under 100 metres, as they are traditionally built in steel or precast concrete bases. Taller towers can capture higher speed wind currents and therefore generate more energy.
The group says printing the base directly on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology will enable the creation of larger bases and cost-effective taller hybrid towers.
Matteo Bellucci, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Leader for GE Renewable Energy, said: “3D printing is in GE’s DNA and we believe that large-format additive manufacturing will bring disruptive potential to the wind industry.”
Henrik Lund-Nielsen, Founder of COBOD International A/S, added: “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 carbon footprint from the production of energy.”