Wind turbine towers are set to reach heights of up to 170m with new construction techniques and materials, according to wind power engineering specialists K2 Management. Tower heights have grown steadily over the last decade as operators seek stronger wind speeds higher up in the atmosphere.
Based on work with various clients across the globe, K2 Management believes new technology developments like modular concrete structures mean turbine heights are likely to soar to up to 170m in the coming years—higher than London’s “Gherkin,” and almost as high as the Eiffel Tower. This compares to the tallest towers of 150m at present. There has been a 48% increase in average hub height since 1999, and based on its experience in the industry and its partnerships, K2 Management has insight on how to manufacture hybrid tower concepts up to 170m.
According to K2 Management wind resource experts, a 3-MW turbine located in a forest area, for example, with an average wind speed of 6 m/sec, will meet 13% more wind speed if the turbine height doubled from 70 to 140 m. Annual energy yield prediction would increase by almost 30% because of less surface aerodynamic drag and the viscosity of the air. Therefore, going up to 170 m from 70 m will boost energy yield prediction by 35% on average. The more complex the terrain—for instance forests, hills, mountain and buildings—the larger the impact is in using taller turbine towers.
“170m towers could become a common sight in the near future in markets like the USA and Germany as part of a new renewable skyline. We expect to see more of these mega designs as we help our clients get the most out of their wind projects,” K2 Management CEO Henrik Stamer said.
Through its network of experts across the globe, K2 Management possesses a unique vantage point overlooking the wind industry, allowing for a view into emerging trends. The company is able to draw on this wide breadth of experience to identify ways of making wind projects more efficient.
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