Hexcrete Tower for Harvesting Wind Energy at Taller Hub Heights

Sponsor: Department of Energy (DOE)
Nov 2014 to May 2016

Goals and Objectives

Through a joint effort between ISU, Siemens Corporation, Coreslab Structures and BergerABAM, this project facilitates widespread deployment of lifecycle cost-competitive tall towers with a hub height of at least 120 m (394 ft) and eliminates the transportation and logistics constraints, thereby reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). The Hexcrete concept will form the basis for this development with improvements in the following areas:

  • Efficient design of towers with different hub heights (120 m and 140 m) and different turbine sizes (i.e., 1.5 MW and 3.0 MW)
  • Tower design optimization with consideration to load and LCOE (Hexcrete-steel tube hybrid option will also be pursued to reach an unbiased decision)
  • Final selection of connection details
  • Experimental validation
  • Optimal foundation design
  • Estimation of LCOE with respect to a baseline case
  • Product development and commercialization plans

Impact

With the Hexcrete concept enabling the building of taller towers, the wind energy industry can realize the following benefits:

  • Accessing high wind speed and steadier wind conditions
  • Increasing wind production time
  • Final selection of connection details
  • Experimental validation
  • Leveraging opportunities to harvest energy in regions of the U.S. where favourable wind conditions exists only above 100 m and the demands for electricity are relatively high
  • Lowering the wind energy cost.

The transportation scheme used today is costly and is counter productive to the environmental efforts associated with green energy priorities. It has caused traffic delays and other challenges to the travelling public. If used for the entire height, the Hexcrete concept will eliminate transportation challenges and engage a well-established U.S.-based precast concrete industry in the wind tower business, thereby greatly reducing the reliance on foreign steel and increasing the job market in the U.S.

Taller towers will facilitate wind energy production where the energy demand is high

Example:
Southeast Region