Source: Tindall Corp., Spartanburg, S.C.
By Don Marsh
A land transaction and product design certification have positioned Tindall to proceed on schedule with a $60 million-plus plant dedicated to the Atlas Concrete Tower Base (CTB). An engineering innovation enabling wind farm operators to extend turbines to a 325- to 460-ft. (100- to 140-meter) height range—extracting more power than shorter structures currently operating—the CTB comprises precast concrete staves, 87 ft. long and tapering from a 14-ft. base to 3.5-ft. top width. Sized for highway or rail hauling, the pie-shaped staves form robust 10-, 12-, 14-, or 16-piece cones. Along with a post-tensioned precast concrete tube section securing turbine masts, the cones bear on a simple ring foundation that requires about one-third the concrete of a standard ground-anchored structure.
In late January, Tindall completed purchase of a large parcel in the Kansas Logistics Center, a rail-served development in Newton, north of Wichita and between interstates 35 and 135. The precast/prestressed producer announced plans for the Atlas CTB operation last year, projecting a nine-month construction window for a 150,000-sq.-ft. plant enclosure, with early-2012 production start.
Closing on the 230-acre property followed Atlas CTB certification by Germanischer Lloyd, whose wind power equipment audits are recognized world wide. “The GL Strength Design certification confirms our engineering concept and clears the way for the wind power industry to install turbines above 100 meters and up to 140 meters,” affirms Tindall Chairman William Lowndes III. “The Atlas CTB will enable our customers to take advantage of stronger, steadier winds that generate more renewable power.”