Swedish company develop modular wooden wind turbines to extend reach

Swedish startup, Modvion is developing a wooden tower for wind turbines that can be taken apart into smaller pieces and assembled on site.

The Gothenburg-based company say its modular windmills can cut costs and help solve the logistical challenge of transporting giant masts to wind farms. The wood towers are said to lower the cost of a turbine by 30% compared with conventional steel and concrete versions.

Taller wind turbine towers reach much stronger, more stable winds and carry larger turbines which lead to higher effect – up to three times more. When optimising taller towers’ base diameters, however, they become almost impossible to transport since their dimensions surpass the width of roads.

Logistically wind turbines can be very hard to transport since the blades can stretch out to 116 feet and the tower can reach 212 feet. This is why Modvion created the wooden turbines which can be assembled on site.

The startup believes that such transportation issues has affected capacity by up to 50%. With a stackable tower that can be assembled easily at the site, capacity wouldn’t be affected and the product could be shipped with standard trucks.

Onshore wind generation is already one of the cheapest renewable power sources, alongside solar power, and is much cheaper than natural gas.

According to Modvion, this impact would feature “200% increases of wind energy in the US and Europe, equal to the removal of 145 million cars in terms of [carbon dioxide] reduction”. By using the wooden towers, it would cost $200,000 less to make and reduce 719 tons of CO2 emissions.

Initial plans are to create a near 100-foot prototype with an estimated completion time in 2019. A tower that extends all the way to 500 feet would be completed in the following year.

Essentially, this new transport solution for wind turbines would extend the industry’s reach. There are some roads that current turbines simply can’t be delivered to.

Modvion’s managing director, Otto Lundman, said: “Higher towers will enable higher wind speeds and larger rotor blades, we can therefore increase the production of electricity.”

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea



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