Siemens launched a concrete wind turbine tower technology designed to capture stronger winds at higher altitudes, resulting in more potential energy production and increased project revenue for customers.
This technology is part of an ongoing commitment to using innovation to expand wind power in the United States and around the globe.
Siemens partnered with Wind Tower Technologies of Boulder, CO, for engineering and construction methodologies. A unique feature of this patented tower system is the on-site match casting of annular precast tower segments, eliminating the need to grout the joints or provide other special surface treatments between tower sections.
Onsite 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, where quality and reliable speed of construction are highly important.
"As wind continues to establish itself as a mainstream energy source in the United States, Siemens remains focused on driving down the cost of wind power projects. By match casting tower segments onsite, we are able to simplify and streamline the entire tower construction process – reducing costs throughout," said 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’ precast segmental concrete tower system was designed to be economically scalable to heights in excess of 115 meters using a unique modular formwork design. This concrete tower technology offers up to an additional 10 percent or more annual energy production compared to 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. These efforts validated processes and paved the way to full commercial applications of the tower, including future taller towers. In a separate undertaking, Siemens Corporate Technology has partnered with Iowa State University on the "Hexcrete Tower for Harvesting Wind Energy at Taller Hub Heights" – led by Iowa State University and sponsored by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Nearly 6,000 Siemens wind turbines are installed in the United States, capable of producing clean, renewable power for more than 4.2 million households every day. Siemens also recently achieved the 14-GW installed capacity milestone in the Americas, with over 7,300 installed wind turbines.