ACI council advances taller wind turbine tower building practice

Sources: American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Mich.; CP staff

The release of ACI ITG-9R-16: Report on Design of Concrete Wind Turbine Towers is timed with wind energy interests’ pursuit of extending structures to higher elevations with markedly more energy extraction potential than current generation towers (≤ 325 feet or 100 meters).

“Wind turbines have become an important part of renewable energy resources globally,” says Charles Hanskat, ACI Innovation Task Group 9 on Concrete Wind Turbine Towers chair. The need to increase efficiency, he adds, “is pushing builders to reach higher for ‘Tall Air’ with bigger turbines, thus exceeding the ability of steel towers to be practical and economical supports. This new report is important to the concrete industry as it evaluates research, develops international standards for wind turbine towers, and integrates the knowledge gathered into a concise document to allow a designer to evaluate concrete construction of these larger towers.”

The document is the result of cooperation between the ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council and industry leaders who view concrete wind turbine towers as a critical technology. It covers construction alternatives; design criteria and methodologies; guidance for preliminary tower design; plus, maximum wind forces, fatigue, dynamic effects from wind and turbine operations, and design of connections. — ACI Bookstore, 248/848-3700;