Siemens commercializes site-cast wind turbine tower design

Sources: Siemens Corp., Orlando, Fla.; CP staff

Siemens has announced commercial launch of a wind turbine tower, built of match-cast, annular concrete segments and designed to capture stronger winds at higher altitudes. The site-cast segment design eliminates the need to grout joints or apply special surface treatments between sections.

As demonstrated in three decades of segmental precast concrete bridge practice, on-site, match casting methods increase the use of local labor and materials and eliminate transportation costs associated with conventional plant fabrication and delivery. Siemens’ precast segmental system is designed to be economically scalable to heights in excess of 115 meters using a unique modular formwork approach. It affords up to an additional 10 percent or more annual energy production compared to the typical 80-meter wind turbine mast, depending on climatic conditions.

Siemens partnered with Boulder, Colo.-based with Wind Tower Technologies for engineering and construction. Prototype testing was performed in Texas, home to major wind farm installations, and a single commercial turbine in Iowa. These efforts validated processes and paved the way to full commercial applications. In a separate undertaking, Siemens Corporate Technology has partnered on the “Hexcrete Tower for Harvesting Wind Energy at Taller Hub Heights,” led by Iowa State University and sponsored by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

“As wind continues to establish itself as a mainstream energy source in the United States, Siemens remains focused on driving down the cost of wind power projects. By match casting tower segments onsite, we are able to simplify and streamline the entire tower construction process—reducing costs throughout,” says Michael McManus, head of Business Development and Strategy for Siemens Onshore Americas. “Through our strong commitment to innovation, [we are] revolutionizing the concrete wind turbine tower, delivering technology that will help deliver leaps in annual energy production.”