Capital City Renewables (CCR) recently installed a 100m (330-foot) tilt-up meteorological tower in Colorado. This is the second 100-m met tower of its kind in North America – one that can be climbed and easily moved after tilting it down. The lightweight aluminum lattice tower was assembled on the ground, complete with anemometers and wind vanes, a safety wire for climbing, and Federal Aviation Administration safety lights before being erected and mounted on a steel base plate.
“Most hub-height met towers installed for the wind industry are actually steel communication towers that have been slightly adapted,” explains Kiril Lozanov, CEO of CCR. “Moving these heavy towers is costly and difficult, especially when the tower is mounted on cement. The met tower we installed is special because it is designed to meet the unique needs of the wind industry and provides everything needed at a much lower cost.”
Communication towers do reach the elevations now sought by the wind industry, and they are not typically designed to be lowered and moved easily. Meteorological towers designed for the wind industry are tubular designs which can be easily moved, but cannot be climbed to repair or replace instruments and have not exceed 80m. The new tower installed by CCR combines the most useful characteristics of lattice communication towers and tubular towers, creating a climbable tower that is easily moved to new projects, and puts instruments at the hub heights of the latest turbines (100 meters).
CCR’s recent installation includes a steel base plate, and lightweight aluminum lattice segments that allows disassembly. A 100-m tower can be shortened by removing a segment, thus transforming it into a shorter tower if needed. The tower can be moved inexpensively and erected on a new site using a small and big gin pole or stored for future use.
The new met tower meets and exceeds Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for aircraft visibility. It is properly painted and has FAA lights. Guy wires include marking balls, and the solar system with batteries contains a three-week backup supply capacity to power safety lights and a data logger.
Although this tower is the second 100-m unit of its kind, it may soon become an industry trend. “Climbable lattice towers will likely become more common due to the simple fact that it requires fewer resources to service the accompanying sensors,” says Amy Sue Karshbaum, a crew leader for CCR. “As a result, it will be less expensive to achieve a higher standard of data quality for the client.”