Improving tower designs for increased hub heights

Size matters with regard to turbine towers, but it is not just as simple as reaching for the sky. There are many more nuances to be considered such as site conditions and wind speed, noise level, safety, and without a doubt the consistent issue of cost. Turbine towers can contribute up to 25% of capital cost, and larger components can be difficult and expensive to transport to site.

A hybrid tower discussed in the report.

Data from 2013 and the Fraunhofer IWES Wind Monitor showed that 33% of all new turbines installed in Europe had hub heights in the range of 120 to 140 meters. The majority of existing turbines at that time had hub heights of 60 to 80m, but only 10% of those constructed in 2013 fell within that range. Differences were also marked between coastal and non-coastal regions, with the average tower height of new turbines in 2013 in coastal regions 60 to 80 m. In mountainous regions, where winds are naturally stronger at height, 80% of turbines constructed in 2013 were in excess of 120m. Size matters, but of course, it is not just as simple as reaching for the sky. There are many more nuances to be considered such as site conditions and wind speed, noise level, safety, and without a doubt the consistent issue of cost. Turbine towers can contribute up to 25% of capital cost, and larger components can be difficult and expensive to transport to site.

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