GE Renewable Energy, COBOD and LafargeHolcim have teamed up to jointly develop wind turbines with optimised 3D printed concrete bases in a bid to increase renewable energy production and use.

The multi-year collaboration allows the three partners to develop up to 200m-tall wind turbine, which is expected to increase renewable energy production while reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and optimise construction costs.

The firms have already printed first prototype, a 10-meter high tower pedestal, in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2019.

Three partners aim to generate more renewable energy per turbine

GE said that the three partners aim to generate more renewable energy per turbine and at lower cost by developing taller towers that capture stronger winds.

LafargeHolcim R&D Head Edelio Bermejo said: “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.”

For the project, GE Renewable Energy will provide its expertise in the design, manufacture and commercialisation of wind turbines while COBOD will provide the robotics automation and 3D printing services.

LafargeHolcim will design the concrete material for the turbine. It will also be responsible for processing and application.

COBOD International founder Henrik Lund-Nielsen said: “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.

GE said that the printing the base directly on-site with 3D-printed concrete technology would create a larger bases and cost-effective taller hybrid towers.

Recently, China-based Shanghai Electric has commissioned D8, a GE-built 8MW offshore wind turbine.